Under what circumstances can my employer require that I return to the office? Can the employer impose a minimum number of days?
The employer can require you to return to the workplace where there are operational requirements that do not allow you to perform the duties and responsibilities of your position through telework.
For example, a member might be required to return to the workplace one or more days a week where files cannot be removed from the physical workplace for information security reasons. A member might also be required to return to the workplace from time to time for in-person meetings, mentorship and team building exercises.
In our view, these operational requirements must be reasonable and fair, in accordance with article 5.02 of the AJC Collective Agreement, and should not result in arbitrary return to the workplace requirements based on management preference. Articles 13.01(b) and 13.02(b) of the AJC Collective Agreement also permit lawyers reasonable flexibility in making arrangements for hours of work to enable them to balance work and family responsibilities.
If you would like to continue to telework on a full-time basis based on personal preference or increased productivity you can make a request to your supervisor or manager, providing information on how the operational requirements of your position and unit can be met through this arrangement.
If your request to work remotely on a full or part-time basis is refused, or if you believe that a request to return to the workplace is unreasonable or unfair, please ask your manager to provide an operational justification for the requirement in writing. If your manager does not provide sufficient information about why you are required to return to the workplace for operational reasons, please contact your regional GC Representative for advice and assistance or fill out our online intake form. The AJC can also facilitate meetings with a group of members to discuss concerns of this nature as well as possible options to address them, requests for a group meeting can be made through our online intake form.