Have you heard of the flexible working arrangements that have now become law in Australia?

Flexible working arrangements may allow an employee to make arrangements with their employer to have work conditions that better suit their needs.  This may allow the employee to have a better work/life balance and can even help the employer improve productivity and efficiency in the workplace.

The employee and employer can negotiate the flexibility of either working hours and where the work is performed, for example, at home.

There are 2 formal ways employers and employees can make their workplace more flexible:

  • Flexible working arrangements – certain employees have the right to request flexible working arrangements,
  • Individual flexibility arrangements – employers and employees can negotiate to change how certain terms in an award, enterprise agreement or other registered agreement apply to them.

 

Flexible working arrangements are only available to certain employees.  The must have worked with the same employer for at least 12 months, and meet one of the following criteria:

  • Are a parent or are responsible for the care of a child who is school age or younger,
  • Are a carer,
  • Have a disability,
  • Are 55 years of age or older,
  • Are experiencing family or domestic violence, or
  • Provide care or support to a member of their household or immediate family who require care and support because of family or domestic violence.

 

The request for flexible working arrangements must be in writing, explain what changes are being requested and explain the reasons for the request.

Employers can only refuse a request for flexible working arrangements on reasonable business grounds.  These may include the following:

  • The arrangement would be too costly,
  • Other employees’ working conditions can’t be changed to accommodate the request,
  • It would result in a significant loss to productivity or have a negative impact on the business.

 

For more information on flexible working arrangements and individual flexibility arrangements, visit the Fairwork website, via the link https://www.fairwork.gov.au/employee-entitlements/flexibility-in-the-workplace

 

Danny Grigg – Senior Accountant

B.Comm, CA