Generally, some employees are permitted to request flexible working arrangements from their employer. For example: parents, carers, pregnant women, people aged 55 or older, people with a disability or people experiencing domestic violence may be able to request flexible working arrangements. Flexible working arrangements may include changes to hours of work, or locations of work such as working from home.
On 6 June 2023, the process for requesting flexible work arrangements under the Fair Work Act changed slightly. As of that date onward, if an employee makes a request for flexible working arrangements, the employer must, within twenty-one (21) days either:
- Approve the request; or
- Have a discussion with the employee and agree on changes to the employee’s requested work arrangement; or
- Have a discussion with the employee and set out the reasonable business grounds for which the request is being refused.
If an employee does make a request, employers can refuse on ‘reasonable business grounds’. For example, if it would be too costly or impact significantly on business operations.
This new process is designed to provide a fair and transparent process for responding to flexible working arrangement requests.
Employers need to be mindful of their current policies and procedures when it comes to requesting and responding to flexible working arrangements.
Employers should ensure that they are following the new process and implementing a fair and transparent process in dealing with requests.
If you have any questions regarding responding to a flexible working arrangement request, please contact Aaran Johnson or Simon Kumar to discuss how Marsdens can assist your business.
The contents of this publication are for reference purposes only. This publication does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Specific legal advice should always be sought separately before taking any action based on this publication.