Winning Telework Rights

illustration of man at home desk with hashtag #RemoteWorks at top

The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated a workplace shift that was already underway – both globally and within Canada’s federal public sector. Federal offices were “already about 40 per cent empty before the pandemic,” according to Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Public Services and Procurement.

When federal public sector employees were forced to adapt quickly to working from home in March 2020, they thrived. For many, the flexibility to work remotely led to higher productivity and a better work-life balance. 

Those who can telework should have the flexibility to choose the model that works for them.

But since 2022, the government has taken measures to scale back federal public sector employees’ ability to work remotely, requiring employees to work from an office at least two days a week. In April 2024, the Treasury Board announced that the number of mandated in-office days would be increasing to three days a week. This change happened unilaterally, with no consultation with employees or their unions, and did not consider existing issues with the hybrid policy already in place, or the negative impacts on employees.

CAPE is committed to winning telework rights for its members. Through our Telework Rights Working Group we are building a grassroots, member-led campaign to secure remote work for our members – and across the federal public sector. 

Ultimately, CAPE aims to secure the right to telework in collective agreements, so that public sector employees can focus on what matters most – delivering for Canadians.


June 13, 2024 - CAPE withdraws from federal government’s committee on telework

June 12, 2024 - An open letter to Treasury Board President Anita Anand

May 30, 2024 – Remote Work Rally: Unions stand up to Treasury Board president and Ottawa mayor

May 24, 2024 – Every employee has the right to work in a safe environment: the Portage incident

May 23, 2024 – CAPE, other federal unions and community leaders rally for remote work

May 22, 2024 – Media advisory: CAPE members rally for remote work rights to support stronger communities

May 8, 2024 – CAPE announces policy grievance and unfair labour practice against return-to-office mandate

May 8, 2024 – Joint letters from bargaining agents to TBS president and Jagmeet Singh

May 7, 2024 – Media advisory: Coalition of public sector unions challenging federal government’s in-office mandate

May 1, 2024 – CAPE fiercely opposes three-day per week return-to-office mandate

January 17, 2024 – Message from CAPE President Nathan Prier

CAPE in the news

CAPE in the news


Telework Rights Working Group

CAPE Telework Survey Results (May 2024)

CAPE Return-to-Office Survey Results (September 2022)

Direction on prescribed presence in the workplace


Media articles of interest

*Please note that the news is provided in the original language only.

TVO - June 12 
You can try to bully workers back into the office — but that won’t solve the real problem - June 12 
Economist says hybrid work is a 'win-win-win' for productivity, performance and retention

Ottawa Citizen - June 6
Ching: An action plan that could rescue and rebuild downtown Ottawa

Globe and Mail – June 4
Nearly half of the federal government’s office space could be converted to housing, expert firm says

Globe and Mail – June 1
Wasted Space

Toronto Star – June 1
Navigating the Four Horsemen of Ottawa’s return to office mandate

Gartner - May 20
The Data Is In: Return-to-Office Mandates Aren’t Worth the Talent Risks