KEEPING UP TO DATE
Flexible work requests
9 May 2023
As part of the secure jobs and better pay Fair Work Act (cth) amendments changes to flexible work take effect from the 6 June 2023. The scope of employees will widen to who can request for flexible working arrangements to;
- Employees, or a member of their immediate family or household experiencing family and domestic violence.
- Employees who are pregnant.
Employers will have extra obligations imposed before they can refuse a request for flexible working arrangements including;
- Discussing the request with the employee.
- Making a genuine effort to find alternative arrangements to accommodate the employee’s circumstances and request.
- Consider the consequences and impact of refusal for the employee when making decisions.
- Provide a written response to the employee that states;
- an explanation of the reasonable business grounds for refusing the request and how these grounds apply to the request.
- Propose changes and/or alternatives the employer is willing to make that would accommodate the employee’s circumstances or state there aren’t any changes.
- Include information about referring a dispute to the Fair Work Commission if the employee is not happy with the outcome issued by the employer.
Employers will need to confirm any agreed changes to flexible working arrangements in writing within 21 days of the request and/or date of the agreed change.
Additionally, the Fair Work Commission will be able to review and make orders about disputes regarding flexible working arrangement requests if involved parties can not reach a resolution at a workplace level specifically in the case if an employer refuses a request and/or doesn’t respond to a request within 21 days. Further, the Fair Work Commission will have the power to commence court proceedings for any alleged breaches of the new provisions.
It is in the best interests of employers to take extra steps to explore and accommodate employees’ requests for flexible working arrangements. Demonstrated genuine and reasonable steps taken by employers should be documented to support any disputes lodged by employees to the Fair Work Commission.
If you have any questions, seeking advice on how this affects your business, require a review or development of your flexible working policy and/or if you require support, please contact our Senior Impact HR Consultants on 1300 474 672 or email@example.com .
For further information visit https://www.fairwork.gov.au/newsroom/news/secure-jobs-better-pay/pay-secrecy-job-ads-and-flexible-work#flexible-work .
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