A TRADE union representative has called on Caerphilly County Borough Council to provide a working from home allowance to staff.

Many of the council’s employees have been working from home since the start of the pandemic nearly two years ago. But Lianne Dallimore, from the Caerphilly branch of the public services union UNISON, believes these workers should be given financial support.

In a Joint Scrutiny meeting, held on Monday, January 24, Ms Dallimore said: “While there are lots of benefits to home working, the cost of working from home in terms of increased lighting, heating and a general increase in energy costs cannot be overlooked.

“I would ask that Caerphilly Council, as part of its budget proposal, look at offering a home working allowance to these staff.”

Earlier this month, the council announced its draft budget proposals for 2022/23.

Ms Dallimore added: “If we are serious about maintaining an agile workforce then we must also get serious about addressing the cost that this brings.

“Unfortunately at this moment in time and for the past two years this burden has fallen onto the shoulders of our employees, many of whom can least afford it and many of whom are starting to struggle.”

Overall, Ms Dallimore said the trade union was in support of the budget and said it was a positive proposal.

The council’s leader, Cllr Philippa Marsden, said: “I want to put on record my reassurance that no one should suffer a detriment from working from home and that is not the intention.”

Cllr Marsden said the council will meet with the trade unions and discuss the issues that arise from working from home and address the pressures staff are facing.

Ms Dallimore also asked if trade unions could be consulted earlier in the process and see the proposals before they are made public.

A public consultation on the budget is currently open. Comments can be made via the council’s online survey.