Promoting a healthy work-life balance in your workplace will help you to retain skilled staff and boost productivity. As an employer, you also have a legal responsibility not to refuse flexible arrangements for an employee with parental or carer responsibilities, unless it is reasonable to do so in the circumstances.
Flexible work requests may include arrangements around working time, work organisation or the work environment. A change to work arrangements may occur just once or be ongoing (for a fixed or indefinite time).
Evidence shows that flexible work arrangements benefit employers, employees and their families. There are many different examples of flexible work arrangements in practice.
Download the Best Practice Guidelines: Work and Family at the Fair Work Ombudsman site for more advice on achieving a family-friendly workplace.
Under the Equal Opportunity Act 2010, employers must not refuse flexible arrangements for an employee with parental or carer responsibilities, unless it is reasonable to do so in the circumstances.
Employers may have other legal obligations to parents and carers under the National Employment Standards. Under these standards, an employee with 12 months continuous service may request a change in working arrangements to assist with a child’s care if they are parents or carers of:
- a child under school age, or
- a child under 18 with disability.
Flexible work arrangements can also be an example of reasonable workplace adjustments, which are changes that allow people with disability to work safely and productively.
The Commission also offers training for employers on how to manage flexible work arrangements effectively.