Australia’s public service updates remote working guidance
The Australian Public Service Commission (APSC) has updated its remote working guidelines amid a spike in COVID-19 cases, allowing public servants to work from home to contain the spread of the virus.
“For operational reasons, some employees will be required to physically attend their usual workplace. For others, flexibility, including working from home arrangements, may be a suitable option,” read the circular by the APSC.
Public agencies are responsible for setting their own working arrangements and updating them based on government and health authority advice. They are also required to ensure the delivery of services to the public while keeping their staff safe.
“Given the emergence of new COVID-19 variants, and fluctuations in cases, agencies should remain flexible in responding and adapting to changes in such advice,” APSC said.
It added that agencies must update their business continuity plans and risk management contingencies, “including the impact of staff absences due to illness”.
In cases where flexible working arrangements cannot be accommodated, “agencies should consider whether the employee can temporarily undertake a different (more flexible) role, either within their agency or in a different agency”, it said.