If you have been directed to attend work, then depending upon the nature of your work, the steps taken by your employer to manage the risk to you of contracting COVID-19 and whether you fall into one of the high-risk categories, you may be able to insist on working from home.
Even if you are not able to insist on working from home, but have worked for the same employer for at least 12 months, you can request flexible working arrangements including:
- working from home;
- changing your hours of work (including the number of hours you are working and your start and finish times); and
- changing your patterns of work (including options such as split shifts or job sharing).
Your employer can only refuse this request on reasonable business grounds. Where your request is denied your employer is required to provide the reasons for denying the request. Employers and employees are encouraged to discuss how this should occur.
You will need to comply with the requirements of any award or enterprise agreement that applies to you in relation to making flexibility agreements. If you are not covered by an award or enterprise agreement, it is important that any arrangement (including their duration) are in writing.
Note: changes have been made to some awards to allow your employer to roster you to undertake different work to usual, and to work different hours. For information about these changes visit the Fair Work Ombudsman website.