Flexible work arrangements
Options for flexible work arrangements
Most flexible work arrangements are subject to negotiation between the employee and the principal. Some arrangements are entitlements with the timing of the arrangement subject to approval, for example, long service leave. Different flexible work options will be more or less suited to particular roles and areas of working. Operational feasibility plays a key role when considering proposals for flexible work arrangements.
The major flexible work arrangements available to teaching staff are part-time, job share and some flexible start and finish arrangements.
For non-teaching staff in schools, the range of flexible work options may include part-time, job share, flexible start and finish times, compressed work week, working from home and purchased leave.
Ad-hoc or short-term requests for flexibility
Flexibility requests to meet short-term needs such as the attendance of an appointment or occasional work from home are not continuing arrangements and therefore are not within the scope of this policy. One-off requests should be managed in the context of the school’s daily program.
The Department’s policy regarding flexible work arrangements and how they are managed is consistent with the principles and provisions of the Fair Work Act 2009 and Victorian Equal Opportunity Act 2010. It assists employees to reconcile work and family responsibilities.
All requests for flexible work arrangements and the responses to them should meet the following criteria. Requests for flexible work arrangements should:
- be in writing
- outline the personal circumstances under which the request is made
- detail the arrangement the employee is seeking
- describe how the arrangement will work within the work area
The principal’s response to a request for flexible work arrangements should:
- be in writing
- be provided no later than 21 days following the submission of the request. In circumstances which prevent this occurring, seek the agreement of the employee
- note any modifications to the original request following discussions, including where an agreement has been reached to trial the arrangement
- where the application is not approved, provide the business reasons for the refusal of the request (refer to practical tips in the chapter)
Reasonable business grounds
Reasonable business grounds may include the following:
- that the new working arrangements requested by the employee would be too costly for the employer
- that there is no capacity to change the working arrangements of other employees to accommodate the new working arrangements requested by the employee
- that it would be impractical to change the working arrangements of other employees, or recruit new employees, to accommodate the new working arrangements requested by the employee
- that the new working arrangements requested by the employee would be likely to result in a significant loss in efficiency or productivity
- that the new working arrangements requested by the employee would be likely to have a significant negative impact on customer service
Reviewed 14 May 2020