The Department of Home Affairs has reaffirmed its commitment to ‘genuinely’ consult staff on issues that impact their employment, after the Fair Work Commission stymied the department’s attempt to implement a new dress code for the second time.
Last week the commission rejected Home Affairs’ appeal to implement the uniform code, which would ban staff from wearing casual attire such as sleeveless tops, activewear, jeans, and sneakers. The code, if implemented, would apply to staff working in office settings and on video calls.
The commission initially handed down the decision in April, in support of the Community and Public Sector Union’s calls for staff to be consulted on the proposed code.
In a statement this week, Home Affairs said it had lodged the appeal to seek ‘greater clarity’ on the commission’s decision.
“The department appealed the decision in order to confirm the scope of the consultation requirements under the WD [workplace determination] and assist the department with further clarity around its consultation obligations on the more than 1600 policy documents it operates,” it said.
The department noted that, while the commission rejected the appeal, the department had been provided with the information it needed to fully understand its consultation obligations.
“The department has always been committed to ensuring that its employees have the opportunity to be genuinely consulted on important issues that affect their employment, and the decision of the Full Bench assists the department meet those needs, by providing the above clarification,” it said.
“The department has taken all steps required to comply with the original FWC decision. These interim arrangements will now be finalised with the information above in mind.”