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The Employment Relations (Flexible Working Arrangements) Amendment Act 2007

Before the Act came into force in July 2008, we knew that many employers already offered their staff flexible work. But for some employees and managers the prospect of discussing flexible work without a clear process can be daunting.

The Employment Relations (Flexible Working Arrangements) Amendment Act 2007 gives employees with caring responsibilities a statutory right to request flexible work. The Act has changed the way some employees and employers make and respond to requests for flexible working arrangements.

What are the changes?

The Act provides certain employees with the right to request a variation to their hours of work, days of work, or place of work.

To be eligible for the ‘right to request’ an employee must have the care of any person and have been employed by their employer for 6 months prior to making the request. When making the request, the employee must explain how the variation will help the employee provide better care for the person concerned.

The Act requires employers to consider the request for flexible working arrangements and provides the only grounds upon which they can refuse a request. The Act provides a process for how requests are to be made and responded to and also provides a process for resolving disagreements relating to a request for flexible working arrangements which may arise from time to time.

A review of the Act was completed in 2011 and the report of the review can be found online.

Where can I get more information?

Detailed guidelines on how the Act works are available or download a pdf copy [pdf 25 pages, 985KB]. These guidelines are designed for both employees and employers and explain the process of requesting flexible working arrangements under the Act from start to finish.

A range of factsheets, templates, checklists and frequently asked questions can also be downloaded from the panel on the right. These resources are useful references for employees and employers and should help make the process of making and considering a request for flexible work easier.