Department For Trade and Investment | Return to the Workplace

21 May 2020

The Public Service Association (PSA) and your Worksite Representative (WSR) last week raised members’ concerns with the Department for Trade and Investment about their proposed staged return to the workplace (RTW).

It is the PSA’s position that this planned RTW may contravene protocol and policy set by the Office of the Commissioner for Public Sector Employment (OCPSE). PSA members have expressed a number of concerns.

The PSA had a regular scheduled meeting with DTI HR for the afternoon of Thursday 14 May 2020. Unfortunately this meeting was cancelled. Your WSR endeavoured to have this meeting rescheduled so we could address members’ concerns about the RTW plan.

On Friday 15 May 2020 the PSA called a meeting with DTI senior management to address our concerns about the RTW plan. After some discussion, DTI outlined their RTW plan which they stated was developed with advice from the OCPSE and SA Health.

DTI said they had conducted a space audit and that their plan met all social distancing requirements set by SA Health. The PSA raised issues relating to lift usage and emergency evacuation.

After robust discussion DTI stated that if any staff member has concerns or issues with returning to being office based they need to address this with their line manager in the first instance. If staff feel their concerns have not been addressed, they can escalate the issues to HR. It is important that members know their rights and that departments recognise the complexities that individual situations may present.

DTI committed to providing all staff with communication outlining the RTW plan.

The PSA will continue to work with Government on COVID-19 related issues and will keep members up to date through Information Updates.

Please do not hesitate to contact the PSA Members’ Rights Hotline on 8205 3227 or your PSA Organiser, directly with any concerns or industrial issues.

During this very difficult time now, more than ever, working together and looking after your workmates is the best place to start. Be kind to each other and check on how people are travelling while taking the time to look after your own wellbeing.