A growing number of organisations recognise that flexible work arrangements are vital to the successful recruitment and retention of their employees.

Flexible work arrangements can also help employers meet their obligation to avoid discrimination against employees with disabilities, older employees and employees with family responsibilities.

Flexible work arrangements can include:

  • changing hours of work (e.g. working less hours or changing start or finish times)
  • changing patterns of work (e.g. working split shifts or job-sharing)
  • changing the place of work (e.g. working from home).

Flexible work arrangements can be one-off or be ongoing.

Under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth), some employees have the right to ask for flexible work arrangements. These employees include: parents or those with the responsibility for the care of a child who is school aged or younger, carers’ people with disabilities, people aged 55 or older, people experiencing family or domestic violence and people who provide care or support to a member of their household or immediate family who requires care and support because of family and domestic violence.

Requests for flexible work arrangements must be seriously considered by the employer and can only be refused on reasonable business grounds.