Employee rejects work-from-home offer, sues employer

The employee found that the WFH option disturbed his personal life


When he was told that he would not receive redundancy pay if he failed to work from home, an Australian employee working as a financial planner had at first accepted the offer of work-from-home. However, he later found that the work model was disturbing his personal life and withdrew his acceptance.

When he asked for his redundancy pay, the Commonwealth Bank Australia (CBA), his employer, refused to pay him the same. Following the closure of the retail financial planning unit of the Bank, the employee was offered a new role by the Bank, with bonuses. But the new job demanded that he work from home permanently, which was unacceptable to the employee.

As per the employee, who has been with the bank for two decades, working from home was harmful for the overall health of people as it forces them to work in isolation, and even leads to tension within the family. His house, he explained was not designed to serve as an office space and also cater to personal needs. He also stated that his client base will dwindle if he is made to work from home all the time and that he requires a formal office space to work efficiently.

The employee has now demanded that CBA pay him AUD $172,000, that is, about Rs 95,41,114, inclusive of redundancy pay, interest payments and civil fines. i

The Bank, of course, is gearing to contest the case.

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