ACCI urges the union movement to be realistic about working from home demands, as the country tries to recover economically from the pandemic.
“The ACTU’s adversarial Working from Home Charter released today risks derailing the widespread commitment of employers and employees to communicate and work together on working from home arrangements,” ACCI CEO James Pearson said.
“Hundreds of thousands of Australian employers and employees have successfully cooperated and agreed to change how and where they work during the pandemic. Many employees value working from home, benefiting from reduced commute time, saving on transport costs, improved job satisfaction and increased flexibility to balance work and family responsibilities. The ACTU’s new claim and charter puts all of that at risk.
“The ACTU is trying to unbalance these arrangements by, on one hand, gifting employees a unilateral right to dictate that they work from home, and on the other hand forcing employers to pay for this choice.
“Spruiking an ‘allowance’ to work from home at a time when people in businesses around the country are on their knees, is taking advantage of the crisis to make unreasonable demands on those who can least afford it.
“This is not the time to be blind to the serious ongoing economic threat to jobs by calling for more money and placing more demands and restrictions on employers.”
The ACTU claims could result in:
- A right for employees to unilaterally declare that they will work from home, regardless of employer needs when running their business and servicing clients.
- A ‘cash grab’ for a bonus for employees working from home.
- Rights for union officials to impose themselves on work from home arrangements in relation to employees who are not their members.
- Removal of the right for employers to safeguard their intellectual property and client confidentiality through limits and controls on work locations and equipment.
- Unrealistic approaches to hours of work, and the balance between work health and safety laws and home safety and personal liability.