Senior Lady WFH

Flexible working arrangements can support employees to balance their work and personal lives. If you employ people, it's important to understand the legal requirements for flexible work arrangements and how they can benefit your business.

We've busted some myths on common flexible work arrangements.

All employees can ask for flexible working arrangements

Fact: That is true.

All employees can talk to their employer about setting up a flexible working arrangement. Full-time and part-time employees that have worked for the same company for at least 12 months have a legal right to request flexible working arrangements (Under the Fair Work Act 2009) if they:

  • are a parent or carer for a child school-aged or younger
  • are a carer
  • are pregnant
  • have a disability
  • are over 55
  • are experiencing domestic violence or are caring for an immediate family member experiencing domestic violence.

Flexible working arrangements include changes in hours, job sharing and working from home

Fact: That is true.

There are many different flexible work arrangements that can help support employees, these include:

  • changes to hours
  • flexible start and finish times
  • location of work (working from home or working remote)
  • job sharing.

Flexible working arrangements are only for people who don’t want to work full time

Myth: That is false.

An employee can ask for flexible work arrangements for many different reasons, such as to:

  • manage life commitments
  • focus on work
  • reduce travel time and cost
  • pursue study
  • work remotely
  • transition to retirement.

Allowing employees to have flexible working arrangements will negatively impact the business

Myth: That is false.

The benefits of having flexible working arrangements can include:

  • an increase in productivity
  • an increase in staff happiness and job satisfaction
  • a decrease in staff turnover.

An employer can refuse their employee’s request just because they want to

Myth: That is false.

An employer can only refuse the request if there is an acceptable reason to do so. Before denying the request, an employer can negotiate with their employee on ways to adjust the arrangement to work for both parties.

Flexible working arrangement requests and employer’s responses must be in writing

Fact: That is true.

Both the request and the employer's response must be in writing. Keep in mind:

  • The request letter must detail the desired changes and the reason why.
  • The response letter must explain the reasons why they either approve or deny the request.
  • Employers must respond to a request within 21 days of receiving the request.

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