26 August 2021

Returning to Offices

Jonathan Russell has been clear that whilst a request was made for staff to attend their base office for a day in August/early September, there is still no requirement for colleagues to return full-time.

We have recently been contacted by members who are concerned that pressure is being applied in some areas for staff to return to their offices on a weekly basis now, rather than in early autumn. This is clearly unacceptable and not in line with VOA guidance. If members have any concerns this is happening in their location or within your business stream please contact your PCS rep.

As part of any return to work Line Managers should be holding discussions on the new flexible working model which will see most roles in the agency returning to the office for only 2-3 days per week. The only exception to this is the Contact Centres in Cardiff, Durham and Plymouth who will be expected to be in the office for 3-4 days a week due to cost and operational reasons. Regardless of how many days you are expected to be in the office you will be given the opportunity to agree whether you will work from home on set days of the week or whether this will vary from week to week. The content of these conversations must be treated with utmost confidentiality and not used to influence conversations with other colleagues in the team.

All flexible working arrangements are non-contractual but PCS do accept some agreements will be around ‘working patterns’ to enable members to arrange stable child care/caring responsibilities. Members who have worked for the VOA longer than 26 weeks still have the right to make a statutory application for contractual flexible working which will be contractual.