New Rules for Flexible Working Arrangement Requests

Beng Poh

1 March 2019 12:00 am Australia/Hobart

As a result of a recent ruling by the Fair Work Commission (FWC), there have been some changes to flexible working requests in section 65 of the Fair Work Act 2009. 

Applying to all modern awards, the changes further support employees’ rights to request flexible working arrangements, and employers have greater obligation to consider and come to an alternative agreement regarding a request for flexible work.

From 1 December 2018:

  • Employers must now provide reasons for denying requests for flexible work based on “reasonable business grounds”, and assess alternative arrangements if an initial request is denied;
  • If a request for flexible work is denied, the employer must provide a written response including the business grounds for the refusal and suggestions for alternative arrangements; and
  • The new clause now allows employees to take legal action if they feel that their request was not adequately considered.

To reflect these changes, BNG have updated the Flexible and Supportive Work Practices Policy, and added some new templates for requesting and responding to flexible work requests to the Reading Room.

You can find these resources in the Reading Room under the topic Human Resources > Workplace Relations. Or, you can type ‘flexible work’ into the Reading Room search bar.

For more information about the changes, see the Fair Work Ombudsman website.

If you have any questions, please contact BNG on or 02 9569 1704.