Thursday, November 5, 2009

Australia and the 'right to request' flexibility

Leading up to the introduction of the National Employment Standards (January 2010) and its flexible work provisions; what can Australia do to embrace the ‘right to request’ flexibility for the benefit of all? Introducing the right to request flexibility in your organisation:

  • Ensure your organisation has an up-to-date flexible work policy that is clearly documented and communicated to all employees
  • Make flexibility the ‘norm’ and an entitlement for all employees, not just working parents. This avoids conflict issues between other employee groups and means everyone has a equal opportunity to access flexibility
  • Educate employees on the type and range of flexible work arrangements that are feasible for your organisation to accommodate and avoid confusion about what’s possible and what’s not
  • Make available a flexible work proposal ‘template’ or ‘form’ which provides clear instructions to employees and managers on how to plan, negotiate and implement a flexible work arrangement
  • Be willing to trial a flexible work arrangement before refusing an employee’s request eg: for 3 months
  • Train managers on the benefits of flexible work; what they can do to overcome barriers and successfully implement a flexible work arrangement
  • Publicise good examples of flexible work arrangements that are working in your organisation

See for more information.