FNZ Group threatens termination if workers ignore hybrid work policy

Says review of offices worldwide shows 'significant numbers' of people not complying

FNZ Group threatens termination if workers ignore hybrid work policy

Employees of financial services firm FNZ have been warned that they could lose their jobs if they remain non-compliant with the company's hybrid work policy.

Wellington-headquartered FNZ implemented a hybrid work policy that allows employees to work from home at least twice a week. The firm has 6,400 employees worldwide, according to a media release.

The company, however, has observed that many of its staff are working remotely for more days than permitted, according to an internal email leaked on the Instagram page @theaussiecorporate.

"On review of key offices worldwide, it is obvious that there are significant numbers of people that have ignored out hybrid working policy," the email sent to staff said as quoted by news.com.au.

According to the email, working from home for more than two days per week is a violation of employment contract and against company policy.

Go back or get fired

To address the situation, the company issued a warning to staff.

"In relation to any in breach of this policy (and their contract), we reserve the right to terminate their employment without notice, without settlement, without references and without any further warnings," the email said.

It added that the company will begin sourcing building access records worldwide every week as part of its measures to ensure compliance.

Employees caught violating the company's hybrid work policy will receive amnesty only until June 9, according to the email, with consequences to take effect after the date.

In the same message, FNZ said it was "unfortunate" that they had to issue a final warning, pointing out how "no one actually raised any challenges or issues" when the company discussed the matter for over a year.

FNZ's recent threat adds it to the list of employers strengthening compliance for its hybrid work policy. For similar motivations, tech giant Google also recently informed its staff that it will begin tracking office badge attendance and include in-person attendance to employees' performance review. 

The measures come amid strong resistance from employees to return to office, despite strong encouragement from executives around the world.

Firing resisting staff – is it OK?

However, with threats of termination entering office return policies, it raises the question if employers are permitted to go to such lengths just to bring employees back.

Matthew L.O. Certosimo, partner at Borden Ladner Gervais LLP, said the "careful implementation" of work-from-home arrangements would ensure its temporary nature given the global public health emergency.

"Therefore, if the employee insisted upon continuing remote work, they would risk being in breach of their employment agreement when 'things go back to normal,'" Certosimo previously told HRD.

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