Let’s Put It In Writing
New rules on flexible work arrangements are coming
The Fair Work Commission has recently decided on a new model term for flexible work arrangements (FWAs) that it will be seeking to introduce into modern awards in the coming months.
The new clause introduces a more structured framework for responding to FWAs.
The Commission describes it as “a cautious regulatory response to addressing the significant unmet employee need for flexible working arrangements”.
What’s in the model clause?
The new model term requires a discussion between an employer and employee during which they genuinely try to reach agreement on a change in working arrangements to accommodate the employee’s circumstances.
Negotiations must also have regard to any reasonable business grounds the organisation may have for refusing the request.
Currently, an employer must respond to a FWA request in writing, and if an employer declines the request this must include details of the reasons for the refusal. The model term will now require the written response also sets out the business grounds for the refusal and how these apply.
In declining a request, the employer will also have to set out whether or not there are any changes in working arrangements the employer can offer so as to better accommodate the employee’s circumstances.
CCER will continue to update members about changes to modern awards.