An employer would use this type of agreement in order to deviate from the terms and conditions outlined in Awards. It enables the employer to clearly set out the terms of the employment, particularly those terms which differ from the Award. Keep in mind that an Individual Flexibility Employment Agreement can only be used where it benefits the employee overall.
The purpose of flexible arrangements, is to meet the genuine needs of employees which can greatly improve an employee’s job satisfaction and increase efficiency.
An example of a flexible working arrangement is where a parent or carer has requested to alter the terms of their employment so that instead of working between the hours of 9-5pm, they work during the hours of 7am-3pm to enable them to meet their obligations as parent or carer.
Who can request an Individual Flexibility Agreement?
Either the employee or the employer can initiate the request for flexible terms.
An employer cannot, however, force an employee to accept such terms. Nor can a new employee be forced to sign an Individual Flexibility Agreement as a pre-condition to their employment.
What terms can be altered?
Not all aspects of an Award can be altered.
First and foremost, the change must be overall in the employee’s best interest. This is a protective measure against unscrupulous business practices and ensures minimum terms and conditions, such as rates of pay, continue to be met.
The five following terms in an Award can be modified by an Individual Flexibility Agreement:-
- Hours of work, or arrangements for when work is performed;
- Overtime rates;
- Penalty rates;
- Allowances; and
- Leave loading.
Remembering that any change to the above terms, must be, overall, in the employee’s best interest.
Flexible arrangements can be requested either before, or during, the employment and can be initiated by either the employer or the employee.
How is an Individual Flexibility Agreement made?
Once the flexible term/s have been agreement to, the Agreement must be put in writing and signed by the parties.
It is the employer’s duty to ensure that the employee is better off overall off under the Agreement.
Once the Agreement is signed, the employer must provide a copy to the employee and retain a copy for their own records.
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