Changes to Flexible Working Arrangement Rules

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Changes to Flexible Working Arrangement Rules

From the 1 December 2018, all modern awards will include new rules about requests for flexible work arrangements.  

Before an employer can respond to a request from an eligible employee, the request must be discussed in order to reach an agreement about a change in the working arrangements.  Employees’ requests can only be refused on reasonable business grounds and a request that has been refused must be followed up with a written response.  

By utilising an outsourced payroll solution like PaysOnline, you will gain access to a number of impressive tools to help streamline the payroll process including employee communication options – providing you the audit trail required to keep track of changes such as this.

For more information regarding the rule change – see below:

What are flexible working arrangements? 

Some examples of flexible working arrangements include changes to: 

  • Hours of work (eg. Changes to start and finish times) 
  • Patterns of work (eg. Split shifts or job sharing) 
  • Locations of work (eg. Working from home) 

Who can request flexible working arrangements? 

Employees who have worked with the same employer for at least 12 months are eligible to request flexible working arrangements if they: 

  • Are the parent, or have responsibility for the care, of a child who is school aged or younger 
  • Are a carer (under the Carer Recognition Act 2010) 
  • Have a disability 
  • Are 55 or older 
  • Are experiencing family or domestic violence, or 
  • Provide care or support to a member of their household or immediate family who requires care and support because of family or domestic violence.  

Casual Employees 

Casual employees can make a request if: 

  • They’ve been working for the same employer regularly and systematically for at least 12 months. 
  • There’s a reasonable expectation of continuing work with the employer on a regular and systematic basis. 

How do employees make a request for flexible working arrangements?

  • The request must be in writing
  • Thoroughly explain what changes are being asked for
  • Explain the reasons for the request

What should employers do with a request 

Employers have 21 days to give a written response back to an employee stating whether the request has been granted or not.  If the request is refused, the written response must include the reasons why it was denied.  

So what are the reasonable grounds? 

  • The requested arrangements are too costly 
  • Other employees’ working arrangements can’t be changed to accommodate the request 
  • Its impractical to change other employees’ working arrangements or hire new employees to accommodate the request. 
  • The request would result in a significant loss of productivity or have a significant negative impact on customer service.  

If a state or territory law provides an employee with a better entitlement to flexible working arrangements this will continue to apply. 

Outsourced payroll can ease your payroll stresses by mitigating the chances of becoming non-compliant.  Contact PaysOnline today for a quote to see how an Outsourced Payroll solution can benefit your business.

More information regarding updated flexible working arrangements will become available on the Fair Work website from the 1 December 2018 – you can follow the link below.

Source – Fair Work Australia

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