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Victorian policeman wins right to work 4-day week

Police officers in Melbourne, Friday, Dec. 23, 2016. (AAP Image/Mal Fairclough)
Police officers in Melbourne, Friday, Dec. 23, 2016. (AAP Image/Mal Fairclough)

A Victorian policeman has won the right to work a four-day week.

Detective Senior Constable Gary Emery, who has been a police officer for almost 31 years, put in a request to work four days of 10 hours each rather than the usual five days of 8-hour shifts.

But his request was rejected on the basis that other staffers might complain about his COT (commuted overtime, a system of paying overtime) gains and the workplace safety impact of fatigue after a 10-hour shift.

“I can confirm that although the request could technically be accommodated, this would cause discontent from other members for obvious reasons (not earning the COT, which is essentially based and accounted for around 8 hours shifts),” read an email from Emery’s boss.

Emery took the matter to the Fair Work Commission, where he won his case.

Victoria Police appealed the decision, but the full bench of the Commission has again ruled in the employee’s favour.

Emery, who had worked with units on the Mornington Peninsula for more than 10 years, had reached 57 years of age at the time of the request and asked for the arrangement to transition to retirement.

The Commission noted that the Victoria police enterprise agreement already allowed those aged over 55 a right to request flexible working arrangements.

The appeal ultimately went in Emery’s favour as the FWC determined the four-day week would have “no significant impact” on the employer.

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