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Am I Entitled to Flexible Working Arrangements?

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Employment Law

Flexible working arrangements are governed by the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth).

You are entitled to request Flexible working arrangements if you have worked for your employer for at least 12 months and you fall into one of the following categories:

  1. You are a parent with the responsibility for a child or children who are school age or younger;
  2. You are a Carer;
  3. You have a disability;
  4. You are over the age of 55;
  5. You are experiencing domestic violence; or
  6. You are required to provide care or support to your immediate family or a member of your household who is experiencing domestic violence.

What type of flexible arrangements can I request?

Flexible working arrangements include things like your hours of work, patterns of work and the location of your work.

Can I request flexible working arrangements as a casual employee?

You can make a request for flexible working arrangements if:

  1. You have been employed by the same company on a regular and systemic basis for at least 12 months; and
  2. There is a reasonable expectation that you will continue to work for the company on a regular and systemic basis.

When can my employer refuse to grant me flexible working arrangements?

Your employer can refuse to grant your request for flexible working arrangements if:

  1. you are employed on a casual basis and do not meet the above requirements;
  2. you do not meet one of the categories (outlined above) permitted to make the request;
  3. You do not meet the formal requirements of the request; or

More commonly, if the company has reasonable business grounds for refusing to grant your request because:

  1. the request will be too costly for the company;
  2. other employees will be affected adversely;
  3. it is impractical to recruit new staff in order to accommodate the working arrangement you have requested;
  4. the request would result in a significant loss in efficiency or productivity; or
  5. the request will have a significant negative impact on customer service.

Flexible Work Policy

Some companies will have an internal flexible working arrangements policy for their employees. Legally a flexible work policy cannot offer you less than your legislative entitlements.

Many companies implement flexible work policies to educate their staff on their rights and to encourage employees to make reasonable requests. The flexible work policy may also include a step by step guide on how to make a request, so check for a company policy before making a formal request for flexible work arrangements.

Getting the request right

It is important to get your request right the first time so that your employer does not refuse your request due to a technicality.

If you have made a request for flexible working arrangements and you believe your employer has unreasonably refused your request, get in touch with one of our specialist Employment lawyers for assistance, today.