Working from home policy for Adur and Worthing Councils hailed as ‘forward thinking’

Adur and Worthing Councils will allow staff to choose to work from home in a move that has been called ‘forward thinking’ by some councillors.

Thursday, 30th September 2021, 11:36 am
Portland House in Worthing

The policy change was discussed during a meeting of the councils’ joint staff committee last night (Thursday September 29) and was backed unanimously by members.

From November 1, staff whose roles can be performed from home will be given the choice of whether or not to come into the office.

The new ‘blended working policy’ aims to allow greater flexibility for staff at a time when working from home has become more common, with officers calling it a ‘way of working for the future’.

Council leader Dan Humphreys (Con, Offington) said: “I think this is a really forward thinking piece of work the councils are doing.

“This is a boon for staff and residents of Adur and Worthing alike.”

Labour councillor Rosey Whorlow (Central) also called the move ‘forward thinking’.

She said: “Flexible working, blended working is the way that the workplace is moving.

“I think it’s a good policy and it’s very well done.”

Line managers will decide if roles can be performed from home and officers confirmed that, in the case where a whole team might want to work from home, staff could take turns working in office.

Council officers said that the quality of services provided by the council would be a ‘main consideration’ when allowing staff to work from home.

But Brian Boggis (Con, Peverel) said he had ‘concerns’ about the principle behind the policy calling it a ‘dangerous move’.

He explained: “I just see pitfalls arising, where somebody who is on a similar salary scale point, if one is permitted to work from home and the other is required to come in.

“There’s obviously costs borne by person coming in to the office that are not experienced by the person working at home – there is therefore unfairness involved for the person coming in to the office.”

Council officers said that not all roles are suitable for home working and that this was unavoidable.

They said: “There isn’t anything we can do about that, other than make sure they’re treated fairly within their roles.”

The councils’ staff expenses, travel, and family friendly policies were also updated during the meeting to be in line with one another at a time when ways of working are shifting.