26 May 2022

New strategies to help home workers needed

PCS needs to develop new strategies to help home workers – and ensure it is reaching them effectively, conference agreed today. 

Moving motion A61, David of DWP Nottinghamshire branch said employers considered home workers “out of sight, out of mind, as long as they’re doing their hours and productivity is maintained. 

He said: “We need to protect and level up home workers with their colleagues working within offices, whatever our other battles in other areas are. 

“And whatever Dickensian and other ridiculous tactics Jacob Rees-Mogg tries next.

“Never was there a time when this was so important.”

Seconding the motion, John from Registers of Scotland said: “We have made a good start in terms of health and safety in hybrid working policy. 

“But it doesn’t seem to guard against the pressure of extending working days or into the weekend. 

“We have to be innovative in building a campaign for effective action in this new working environment.”

Ian Pope on behalf of the NEC said the union was currently pushing for action on recording working hours with 8 different government departments. 

He said: “The pandemic has meant we have had to change the way we reach hard to reach areas of the workforce.”

The motion, which was overwhelmingly carried, called on the NEC to establish a framework for remote working which should include:

  • workstation assessment
  • remote working allowances and support for staff moving to greener energy
  • workplace hours for homeworking 
  • maintaining the right to disconnect. 

It also called on the NEC to examine how other unions are organising all aspects of industrial action / protest / campaigning and communicating with members whilst working remotely. 

This information should then provide the basis for consultation with bargaining areas on effective organising and campaigning in these changed working environments.