Office attendance in Customer Compliance Group
PCS is continuing to challenge management in Customer Compliance Group (CCG) regarding their handling of the ‘minimum two days per week working from home’ element of the Pay and Contract Reform deal. CCG management are treating the two days’ homeworking not just as a minimum, but also a maximum, by refusing to allow CCG staff to work from home for more than those two days.
Other areas such as such the Chief People Officer, Chief Finance Officer and Solicitors Office are allowing staff to work from home for more than two days, but CCG steadfastly refuse to do so. CCG claim it’s important for these staff to attend the office for three days a week in order to interact with other colleagues and be an active part of the office community; yet if you talk to most CCG members, they’ll tell you that there’s not much interaction going on, since they spend most of their time stuck in their headsets.
The CCG Senior Leadership Team (SLT) accept that they did not consult the unions prior to their decision to specify a 3 day a week office attendance expectation. They contend that they did not have an obligation to consult and that their failure to do so does not constitute a breach of the Employee Relations Agreement. PCS firmly disagree with that, and we have expressed this in clear teams both to the CCG SLT and to HMRC Employee Relations.
No timetable for review
CCG SLT have told PCS that they will continue to monitor the implementation of their decision on the expectation of office attendance and will make refinements where necessary. However, they will not commit to a review of their overall decision on any set timescale.
Special Working Arrangements and other flexible working issues
The SLT have also stated that any member of staff wishing to work from home more than 2 days a week can also request that by way of a Special Working Arrangement (SWA) application to their manager; and in the first instance, line managers alone are empowered to approve SWA applications.
In addition, HMRC accept that any member staff who has agreed to travel beyond Reasonable Daily Travel of a Regional Centre is able to withdraw their agreement at any point up to the date they actually transfer to the Regional Centre. If they withdraw their agreement, they can seek to introduce or amend an existing Flexible Working Agreement. Furthermore, where existing agreements exceed two days working from home, HMRC has confirmed that any such agreements take precedence over any office attendance expectation from a business area.