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Encourage flexible arrangements in your workplace

Flexibility is the key ingredient for an environment where everyone can achieve a healthy work-life blend. As workspaces and workplaces become more diverse, employers and employees are challenging the status quo about how to organise a healthy work-life blend.

Flexible work agreements can cover the:

Principles

  • Employees can request flexible work arrangements (for any reason) from 1 March 2017 under the Industrial Relations Act 2016.
  • Managers need to respond to requests within 21 days of request.
  • Managers can approve flexible working without overly bureaucratic processes.
  • Less about presenteeism, and more about outcomes.
  • Less about rules and policies, and more about culture and ways of thinking.
  • Not for everyone all the time, but about providing choice and control within boundaries.
  • Requires give and take, trust, ethics, cooperation and negotiation.
  • Engaging with risk is important, including focusing on solutions.
  • Be prepared for the long journey—consistency of stewardship is required.

Download the guide for creating flexible workplaces. (DOCX, 118 KB)

Learn more about the right to request flexible work arrangements. (DOCX, 127 KB)

Key responsibilities

Flexible working is only possible when the organisation, the manager and the employee work together:

  • Organisation: sets the strategic direction that underpins the policy framework and cultural norms. This includes ensuring there is clarity of expectations, roles and performance. Effective job design, system and processes will enable the organisation to perform at its best.
  • Manager: actively work with employees to help find solutions that balance work and personal needs and are fair and equitable to everyone involved, while managing the business imperatives of the work unit and ensuring performance standards are maintained.
  • Employee: take ownership of their career and personal goals, and to work with the organisation and the manager to discover mutually workable solutions. Adaptability and an understanding of team and organisation needs are key capabilities.