Some employees are eligible to request flexible working arrangements – primarily those employees with parenting or carer responsibilities and employees over 55 years of age.
An employer must seriously consider any request for flexible working arrangements, and may refuse a request only on reasonable business grounds.
Being a flexible employer can provide numerous benefits to your organisation:-
- enables you to retain valuable staff members after they transition to parenthood, retaining their experience, knowledge and skills;
- the ability to attract skilled staff members who add value to your business, by a willingness to accommodate their genuine needs;
- building your reputation as an employer of choice with high employee satisfaction;
- the ability to flexibly manage your staff more effectively and efficiently;
- allows employees to fulfil other interests or obligations, such as further study;
- enables parents and carers to meet their obligations to their children more easily and with less stress;
- results in happier and more fulfilled workers, more likely to be loyal and tend to higher productivity;
- decreases the amount of leave and absenteeism;
- promotes a culture of work life balance resulting in greater employee satisfaction;
- can enable a business to be kept open for extended hours;
- can enable a business to operate remotely;
- flexible working arrangements can reduce expenses by boosting efficiency and performance.
What terms are flexible?
Not all terms of an award are up for negotiation. In addition, the employee must be “better off overall” under an Individual Flexibility Agreement (IFA). This ensures that employees are not taken advantage of, and minimum standards, such as rates of pay (which are set out in an employee’s Award), are not undermined.
An employee can request flexible arrangements concerning:-
- The hours and times when work must be completed;
- Overtime rates;
- Penalty rates
- Allowances; and
- Leave loading.
Need more information?
Put a Flexibility Employment Agreement in place using the Individual Flexibility Employment Agreement Kit.