Benefits, rights and responsibilities

Flexible working arrangements can benefit everyone — employers, employees, their families and communities.


Many employers have already adopted flexible working arrangements because they make 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.

Rights and responsibilities

If you are an employee you: If you are an employer you:
have a “right to request” flexible working arrangements. You can ask:
  • to change your working arrangements – either permanently or for a set time
  • anytime, from your first day of work
  • for any purpose or reason. For example, caring for children or older parents, playing sport or working in the community
  • for flexible working arrangements, but the employer doesn't have to agree with the request if there is a good business reason for declining.
have a “duty to consider” any requests. You:
  • must think carefully about every request and reply in writing as soon as possible, but not later than one month.

Things to consider when working remotely

  • don't have to agree to it if there's a good business reason not to, however employees do have a right to ask for flexible working arrangements
  • can only say “no” for certain reasons – these reasons need to be stated if the application is declined

Examples of flexible work

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Page last revised: 31 July 2020

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