The Union negotiated long and hard with Health Services for the inclusion of the Flexible Working Arrangements entitlement.
The entitlement isn’t something frivolous the Union insisted on having, or that Health Services were so magnanimous in agreeing to including the entitlement because it’s nice to have more entitlements. Flexible Working Arrangements are something that offers workers the ability to have flexibility in their working life.
Between excessive workloads, avoiding burnout and to help deal with issues in your personal life whether that be your health, your family or some other part of life that affects your ability to attend work as required or as rostered, Flexible Working Arrangements are there for you to deal with those issues in your life without worrying about putting your employment at risk or using up your leave entitlements.
It also provides management with another tool to better support workers in dealing with personal circumstances while keeping people connected with the workplace, provide support while acknowledging that these circumstances aren’t permanent and eventually the usual workplace arrangements will be back in place.
The inability for members to secure Flexible Working Arrangements despite the very real need for members to access this entitlement is of significant concern to the Union.
The failure of Health Services to approve Flexible Working Arrangements fails to acknowledge each worker’s changing individual circumstances in a changing world. It’s also a failure of Health Services to see it as an opportunity to reduce burn out, workplace stress and acknowledge their workforce has been under tremendous pressure for many years as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.
Often the reasons for not approving Flexible Working Arrangements are based on management’s wishes and what they want. They seem happy to ignore the fact that accessing this entitlement is your workplace right.
It’s shameful that Health Services’ place greater importance on their wishes rather than your need for flexibility to deal with life’s challenges, and to deal with workplace stress and burnout. They are failing to provide a workplace that delivers support to workers when they need it and seem to be happy to have a workforce that is overworked and overwhelmed.
It also speaks volumes about the lie Health Services tell about flexibility. They all proclaim that they offer flexibility but what they actually mean is that flexibility is for them not for you.
Your right to access Flexible Working Arrangements is being denied because Health Services don’t want to deliver on their commitment to flexibility and their wishes are the only thing that matters.
The Union continues to pursue Health Services over Flexible Working Arrangements, and we encourage members who have had their applications rejected to contact us.