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The beginning of the end of flexibility and working from home?

Since the introduction of the Fair Work Act and the right to request flexibility, we’ve seen a positive lift in the number of employers taking flexible work options seriously.  So much so that it seemed like a whole new era had been ushered… until this multi-million dollar claim by a Telstra worker has placed a serious question mark over the future of work from home arrangements.  Seems Telstra will be made to pay legal and medical costs in a multi-million dollar ruling by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal as a result of… wait for it… Ms Hargreaves slipping down the stairs in her own home while going to get cough medicine from the fridge in her sock-clad feet.

In a second incident she slipped on her way to lock the front door. Her lawyers successfully argued these events took place while she was working from home and have successfully claimed lost income and damages from the employer.

So what does this mean for those of you with employees wanting to work from home?  Or take your shoes off at work?!  

Or for those of you still trying to negotiate flexible work arrangements?  Probably a whole lot more hassle.  Workplace audits as a minimum, more questions, more obstacles, more suspicion and probably a big step backwards on all counts.

Love to hear your thoughts on this one – are you an employer of people who work from home? Do you currently work from home?  Are you worried by this ruling? 

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