Things you need to know about the new Civilian Flexible Work Program and mandatory agreement form

July 31, 2020 – Defence Stories

In response to the rapid shift in the way we work brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of National Defence (DND) has updated the mandatory Civilian Flexible Work Program (CFWP).

It includes revised departmental guidelines and a streamlined process to support the Defence Team and our emerging flexible, varied, and remote workforce. It also includes a new mandatory agreement form for civilian employees working remotely.

The new program applies to all civilian DND employees and allows managers – including military managers of civilian employees – when feasible, to authorize civilian employees to alter the following:

As outlined in the joint Direction from the Deputy Minister and Chief of the Defence Staff, the Assistant Deputy Minister (Human Resources-Civilian) (ADM [HR-Civ]) issued a directive to managers on July 29, 2020. This new directive specifically addresses the topic of managing the civilian workforce that is made up of employees working either remotely or on-site.

As part of the directive, all civilian employees who are currently in, OR are seeking to request a new flexible work option, are required to complete and sign the new mandatory Civilian Flexible Work Agreement [PDF, 1.57 MB] with their managers by September 30, 2020. This includes all employees currently working remotely as a result of COVID-19.

The program will monitor and report on the status of flexible work in the department.

To help managers and employees understand and implement flexible work agreements, a series of resources and tools have been published on the Defence Team COVID-19 – Working remotely web page, including:

Managers and employees play a critical role in successfully shifting workplace culture and enabling innovative workplace strategies. While participation in the Flexible Work Program should create a mutually beneficial partnership between managers and employees, not all roles lend themselves to flexible work. It is also important to note that participation in the CFWP is not an entitlement and requests are evaluated case-by-case at the manager’s discretion and must respect applicable Collective Agreements.

Embracing a new way of working with respect to hours and location of work in our current operating context is complex, and Business Resumption requires a phased approach because the current way of working will continue to shift. This will mean that a considerable portion of the workforce remain flexible, varied and mobile.

Despite the massive changes in the way we work, the new Flexible Work Program will help managers and employees work efficiently and effectively together well into the foreseeable future.

For more information, please contact HR Connect RH (accessible only on the National Defence network) or by phone at 1-833-RHR-MDND (1-833-747-6363) as your first point of contact. Subject matter experts in the Flexible Work Program can also be contacted via the Civilian Flexible Work Program mailbox.

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