A guide for employees and employers
- Making a request
- What to do when you receive a request
- How to consider a request
- Approving a request
- Declining a request
- How to deal with an unresolved request
- Some of the more common flexible working arrangements
- Form A Request for flexible working arrangements
- Form B Approval of request for flexible working arrangements
- Form C Decline of request for flexible working arrangements
What’s it all about?
From 1 July 2008, employees who have caring responsibilities will have the statutory “right to request” flexible working arrangements.
This guide explains how the “right to request” under Part 6AA of the Employment Relations (Flexible Working Arrangements) Amendment Act 2007 works.
To qualify employees must:
- Have care of another person
- Have been employed by their employer for 6 months or more
- Not have made another request, under Part 6AA, to work flexibly during the past 12 months.
“Right to request” and “duty to consider”
Employers have a “duty to consider” seriously any requests from their employees.
Part 6AA provides certain employees with the “right to request” flexible working arrangements and employers have “a duty to consider” any requests made under this right.
So, employers have a legal obligation to consider an employee’s request carefully.
Start your Request early
Employers must consider and respond to a request within 3 months of receiving it. Consideration may take longer if complications arise.
This is designed to ensure that employers have sufficient time to assess the impact of the request on their business.
It also means that employees requesting flexible working arrangements need to plan in advance.
So talk to your employer as early as possible so that you can both explore what opportunities might be available well ahead of the proposed start date for your flexible working arrangement.
How we can all benefit
You may already be familiar with flexible working arrangements.
These can be agreed between employers and employees either informally, perhaps through a workplace policy, or by seeking a variation to individual terms and conditions of employment under Part 6 of the Employment Relations Act 2000.
Many employers have already adopted flexible working arrangements because they see them as making good business sense. They can help:
- retain skilled staff and reduce recruitment costs
- raise staff morale and decrease absenteeism
- meet labour market changes more effectively.
For employees, the opportunity to work flexibly can help them strike a better balance between their paid work and other responsibilities.
Flexible working arrangements benefit everyone— employers, employees, and their families.