Flexible Working25 August 2015
The Act extends the right to request flexible working arrangements to all employees, not just those with caring responsibilities as was previously the case. In this context “working arrangements” means hours, days or place of work.
An employee may make a request at any time (previously the limit was one request per year), which must be in writing setting out certain information about the change proposed, including whether the change is to be permanent or temporary. The employer must deal with a request as soon as possible but no later than one month after the request is made (previously was 3 months).
The only grounds on which an employer may refuse a request are those specified in s.69AAF(2) or (3). The employer’s response must also be in writing stating:
- That the request has been refused because of a specified ground, and
- The specified ground for the refusal, and
- The reasons for refusal.
However, note that an employer must refuse a request if—
- The request is from an employee who is bound by a collective agreement; and
- The request relates to working arrangements to which the collective agreement applies; and
- The employee’s working arrangements would be inconsistent with the collective agreement if the employer were to approve the request.