Federal public servants must return to office two or three days a week

Federal public servants will be required to return to the office for two or three days a week, Treasury Board President Mona Fortier announced Thursday.

Employees in the core public service across all departments must begin phasing in a return-to-office plan in mid-January, working in the office two or three days per week, or 40 to 60 per cent of their regular schedule.

“In-person work better supports collaboration, team spirit, innovation and a culture of belonging,” Fortier told reporters at a news conference. “We’re not going to back to the way things used to be. We’re reimagining our workplace.”

The plan will be fully implemented by the end of March 2023, Fortier said, and be overseen by the government’s chief human resources officer.

To date, government departments have been making their own decisions about remote and hybrid work, with several opting for a remote work model. Fortier said on Thursday that the government needs consistency across all departments.

“After six months, we realized that there was inconsistencies in the system, for example, fairness and equity,” Fortier said. “We need consistency in how hybrid work is applied across the federal government. … We need to have a common approach.”

Public sector unions have strongly opposed a mandated return to the office for federal bureaucrats, saying they have been working from home effectively for two and a half years.

Chris Aylward, the alliance’s national president, said earlier this week that the union will continue to bargain for the rights of its employees should a mandate be announced.

More to come…

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