Home - Flexible work arrangements model term takes effect on 1 December

UpdatesNov 23, 2018

Flexible work arrangements model term takes effect on 1 December

The Fair Work Commission has finalised the model term for requests for flexible working arrangements. The model term will be inserted into all modern awards as part of the 4-yearly review of modern awards, which will take effect on 1 December 2018.

By Charles Power

The Fair Work Commission has finalised the model term for requests for flexible working arrangements.  The model term will be inserted into all modern awards as part of the 4-yearly review of modern awards, which will take effect on 1 December 2018.

The term will apply when an employee has made a request for a change in working arrangements under the National Employment Standards (NES).

There is no obligation under the NES to deal with the requesting employee about the request.  However, the new model term will require the employer, before responding to the request to:

The NES requires that if the employer refuses the request, the written response must include details of the reasons for the refusal.  The Award model term goes further and requires that the reasons for refusal include:

Under the Award model term, if the employer and the employee reached an agreement on a change in working arrangements that differs from that initially requested by the employee, the employer must provide the employee with a written response to their request setting out the agreed change(s) in working arrangements.

Given the NES requires the employer to give the requesting employee a written response to the request within 21 days of receiving the request, employers will need to develop procedures to ensure these discussions are convened within the first 10 days of receipt and that compliant notices to employees and documentation of flexible work agreements are developed.

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