Flexible working: The new rules

Wednesday December 12, 2018

Since advancements in technology have made it easier for people to work flexibly and remotely, more businesses are embracing the idea of less-traditional working hours.

In fact, flexible working is now such a widely recognised method that the Fair Work Commission has introduced new rules on how to make arrangements and manage employee requests.

Employers will need to know the new rules to remain compliant, but it’s also a good opportunity to consider the benefits of flexible working and if arrangements could be good for business.

What are the new rules on flexible working?

As of December 1st 2018 employers must follow a new procedure regarding employee requests for flexible working.

Upon receiving a written request from an eligible employee, the employer must discuss the request with the employee and try to reach an agreement on the changes. The discussion should take into consideration the needs of the employee, any consequences for the employee if the request can’t be met, and any potential business reasons for refusing the request.

A decision to refuse a request for flexible working can only be made on reasonable business grounds. Such as, the requested arrangements being too costly for the business, having a significant impact on productivity or customer service, or being impractical for other employees. The refusal would also need to be made in writing and provided to the employee within 21 days of the request.

What are the benefits of flexible working?

If employers are able to consider the needs of individual employees, they can cultivate a more diverse and inclusive workforce. Flexible working can bring many benefits to a business for both employers and employees.

Benefits can include: Promotion of good work-life balance, boosted employee morale, reduced absenteeism and improved staff retention.

For advice on how to negotiate flexible working arrangements in your business, or to discuss how to introduce flexible working get in touch with your local HR Dept today.

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