Flexibility in the workplace has been in the news again over the last few weeks. As we wrote in our last newsletter, since 2010 Australian workers have the right to ask for flexible working options as long as they have worked with the company in a consistent capacity for more than 12 months.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard has committed to boosting the number of public servants working remotely up from 4 per cent to 12 per cent by 2020, but the Australian Council of Trade Unions president Ged Kearney said in an interview with The Daily Telegraph, that working from home was not necessarily a "panacea" for those wanting flexible working hours - particularly mothers.
"For a lot of women, work is about leaving that care and responsibility and having a different focus," she said. "It can be very difficult to juggle both from home… people can end up more stressed."
She said those working for an employer who wanted to work from home needed to take into consideration a raft of factors, including who bears the cost of the home office, adequate support from and access to superiors, and issues around occupational health and safety and compensation for work-related injury…