Last week we learnt that Commercial had suspended the operation of flexitime and accrual of hours whilst employees worked from home with immediate effect. Unite in AXA were not consulted on this beforehand.
Yesterday we held a meeting with Jon Walker, Commercial Director, about his decision and raised our concerns over the lack of prior consultation, the impact on staff and their ability to react to urgent customer needs, and the decision to not allow individuals to take flexidays from the time they have already accrued.
Jon Walker advised the reason for the decision was primarilly driven by concerns for the mental well-being of Commercial staff working from home during the crisis, as well as problems that could arise out a build up of flexitime to be taken once employees return to the office. He advised there was no intention to make this suspension permanent.
We stressed that we would not accept employees being expected to work beyond their contracted hours to meet customer needs without any form of compensation, whether than be in the form of time accrual, time off in lieu or overtime payment.
It was agreed that employees should not be expected to work beyond their contracted hours for free and that if necessary specific instances were extra work is required by staff for customer service reasons then they would be allowed to record this as accrued time. It was also agreed that staff who had already accrued enough hours to take time off could do so.
We are assured this is a temporary measure and we will ensure that the decision is regularly reviewed to ensure it meets the needs of our members as well as that of the business as the current situation evolves.