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As many departments have been making a transition back to the office, we’ve been receiving questions about this process to the Labour Relations inbox and want to make sure our members are well-informed about their rights.
One of the questions we have been receiving is whether members need to show up to the workplace on assigned workdays as part of the return to the office, or whether they can refuse to do so, since many have demonstrated that they can continue to do their job remotely 100% of the time.
While we understand that telework is important to our members, it is important to understand that refusing to show up to work on an assigned day in the office can lead to disciplinary action or the cancellation of a telework agreement. The Employer has a general right to require employees to physically report to the office.
However, if you have a medical accommodation need that precludes you from working in the office and these needs are not being accommodated, you must raise this with the Employer and we recommend that you contact ACFO-ACAF Labour Relations immediately.
Meanwhile, as departments are finalizing their telework policies, they are approaching telework differently. Some departments are requiring employees back three days a week, and some are allowing members to telework predominantly. While the situation is ever-evolving, ACFO-ACAF President Dany Richard is currently gathering data from CFOs to see which departments are requiring mandatory minimum days a week/month in the office and which aren’t. This is to help inform members’ career choices about the most accommodating departments and which departments offer the best telework opportunities. Ultimately the departments that offer the most flexibility to their employees will be able to attract the widest pool of candidates and will have a competitive advantage in attracting talent.
If you have any questions about telework or your rights, please contact Labour Relations at firstname.lastname@example.org.