New flexible working arrangements rules


From 1 December 2018, modern awards include new rules about requests for flexible work arrangements. 

Before responding to a request from an eligible employee, an employer must first discuss the request with the employee to try to reach an agreement about a change to their working arrangements. 

Requests can only be refused on  reasonable business grounds. If employers refuse a request, they need to provide the employee with a written response.

What are reasonable business grounds?

Reasonable business grounds can include:

  • the requested arrangements are too costly
  • other employees’ working arrangements can’t be changed to accommodate the request
  • it’s impractical to change other employees’ working arrangements or hire new employees to accommodate the request
  • the request would result in a significant loss of productivity or have a significant negative impact on customer service.

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