Flexible work

Queensland Government employee flexible work entitlements are guaranteed by the employment standards contained in the Industrial Relations Act 2016. Most government employees have further guarantees provided for by a modern award and certified agreement. See Employee pay and benefits.

See your certified agreement, modern award and employment standards for a full list of flexible work options.

Most Queensland Government employees (employees employed under the Public Service Act 2008) can request the following flexible work arrangements.

Work hours

  • Different start and finish times.
  • Accrued time (flexi-time, accumulated time)—work more hours than your ordinary daily or weekly hours to use as a full or part-day of leave.
  • Aggregated or averaged ordinary hours—work hours varied weekly that add up to your total work hours required by the end of a stated work cycle (e.g. 3 months, 1 year).
  • Compressed work hours—work full-time hours, but over less days (e.g. work a 9-day fortnight).
  • Part-time work hours—work fixed, fewer than full-time hours, receiving pro-rata full-time benefits (e.g. recreation and sick leave).
  • Part-year work—take several weeks or months unpaid leave or extra leave for proportionate salary (e.g. work 8 months a year with a 4-month break made up of recreation leave and leave without pay).
  • Casual or on call work—work the hours needed to meet the business needs
  • Alternate weeks—work 1 or more weeks on followed by 1 or more weeks off.
  • Annualised hours—work an agreed number of ours on a yearly rather than weekly basis.
  • Term-time work—work during school terms and take either paid or unpaid time off during school holidays.
  • Flexible shifts—work different weekly shifts (e.g 4 shifts week 1 and 6 shifts week 2) that add up to your total work hours required by the end of a stated work cycle.
  • Job share—share a role with 1 or more employees (e.g. 2 employees share 1 position and tasks but work different days, or 2 employees share 1 position but take on different aspects of the job).

Leave arrangements

  • Long service or recreation leave at half pay.
  • Purchased leave—receive a reduced fortnightly salary over a nominated period to acquire additional recreation leave.
  • Special leave without pay for short and long-term absences or career breaks
  • Extended leave (e.g. 6 months) without pay or with proportionate salary for personal reasons (e.g. study, extended holidays, help with grandchildren).
  • Deferred salary—work for 4 years at 80% of your salary and receive 12 months paid leave the following year.

Work locations

  • Remote work (or telecommuting)—work away from your main workplace (e.g. at home) on set days.
  • Distributed work centres—work in a distributed work centre that is different from your primary workplace. These offices can be shared by more than 1 agency and support employees to reduce commute time.
  • Hot desks—use another workplace or workstation in your usual workplace or in another building. The desk is shared by multiple employees on different days.
  • Virtual teams and neighbourhoods—work across time, space and organisational boundaries. Team members are usually dispersed geographically and come together to work on common projects or activities, or at a common place of work.

Phased retirement

Ease out of employment by reducing the number of hours you work, or by changing your responsibilities or employment arrangements.

Voluntary redeployment

Reduce your level of responsibility by voluntarily redeploying to a lower classification level (subject to operational requirements and work availability).

Read our Key responsibilities and accountabilities guide (DOCX, 90 KB) (employee section) before requesting flexible work arrangements. Consider how your request affects you, your team, your customers and your agency.

For flexible start and finish times or short-term arrangements, discuss your needs informally with your manager. Get approval verbally or via email.

For ongoing or long-term arrangements (e.g. job-share), submit your request in writing. Use the flexible work agreement template (DOCX, 261 KB) .

Include the start date of your new arrangement, the flexible work option you’re seeking, and the reason for your request. Review our flexible work checklist (DOCX, 258 KB) to understand the assessment and implementation process.

You’ll need to book a meeting with your manager to discuss your request and consider its:

  • value and benefits
  • impact on your team
  • impact on business outcomes.

During the discussion, remain creative and solution focused. You might settle on an arrangement different to your original request or agree to a trial with a review after a short time.

Your manager has 21 days to consider your request. They must respond in writing. If they don’t approve your request, they need to provide reasons why. If they don’t respond within 21 days, consider your request denied.

If your request for flexible work is denied, you can appeal the decision. Contact your HR team or visit the Office of Industrial Relations website.

For flexible start and finish times or short-term arrangements, discuss your employee’s needs informally and approve or decline verbally or via email.

For ongoing or longer arrangements, your employee must submit their request in writing and arrange a meeting with you to discuss. See our Key responsibilities and accountabilities guide (DOCX, 90 KB) .

You have 21 days to consider a flexible work request. You must respond in writing. If you decline the request, you must provide reasons why. If you don’t respond within 21 days, the request is automatically declined.

Use the Flexible work request checklist (DOCX, 258 KB) for help with the assessment and implementation process.

Read the Flexible by Design framework (PDF, 130 KB) . Understand the benefits and principles behind flexible work and what your agency needs to do to achieve a healthy work-life blend.

Speak with your HR team if you think there’s more your agency could be doing.

Promote flexible work options within your team. Get them to review the flexible work options available and consider what will work for them, the team and your business requirements.

Make flexible work part of your team culture. Promote a guilt-free attitude to requests. Lead by example. Share your own commitments to a healthy work-life blend. This gives permission for others to do so too.

Embed flexible work into all roles and promote this when recruiting.

Celebrate the ways your team works flexibly. Review your team’s flexibility regularly to see if it needs adjusting to ensure business needs are met.