ANZ links staff bonuses to office attendance in hybrid work push

Employees of ANZ Bank in Australia, New Zealand, Manila, and Bengaluru were informed today of a new policy that mandates a minimum of 50% office presence each month. Non-compliance with this policy could lead to reduced annual bonuses and performance ratings. This move is part of ANZ’s hybrid work model and mirrors practices at companies such as Suncorp Group and Origin Energy, where employee incentives are connected to office attendance.

The decision comes in the wake of a significant shift to remote work during the COVID-19 pandemic peaks around mid-2021, when many Australian workers transitioned to working from home. A survey conducted by Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) suggested that employers might consider future pay adjustments based on workers’ preferences for their workplace location.

ANZ’s policy has been in place since November last year, but as reported by Shayne Elliott on Radio 3AW in October 2023, only two-fifths of the staff were meeting the policy requirements. The bank emphasizes that the office environment offers vital benefits, such as networking opportunities and cultural engagement, which it deems essential for its operations.

The Fair Work Commission’s ruling on November 16 against full-time remote work in a case involving Maxxia has set a legal precedent that supports such workplace flexibility laws. While ANZ allows for temporary exemptions from the attendance mandate under exceptional circumstances, the tribunal case highlighted reasonable business grounds for decisions made by companies like Maxxia against full-time remote work arrangements.

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