The checklist includes ways to help you and your employer when completing the Request for flexible working arrangements form.
Making a request for flexible working arrangements
Your request must:
- Be in writing.
- Have your name written on the request.
- Be dated with the day of when your request was made.
- Show reference to Part 6AA of the Employment Relations Act 2000.
- Explain the working arrangement you are seeking and whether you want it to be permanent or for a set period of time.
- State the date that you want the new working arrangement to start and, if the new working arrangement is for a set period of time, and state the date you want the arrangement to end.
- Explain why you are requesting a flexible working arrangement, for example, provide better care for your parent.
- Explain, in your view, what changes (if any) the employer may need to make to their current business arrangements if the request is approved, eg possible changes to the way the team works together, changes to the physical set up of the workplace etc.
Other things to think about:
- Keep in mind that a new working arrangement will normally be a permanent change unless otherwise requested and agreed.
- If your request is approved, you can’t simply revert back to your previous work arrangements without agreement from your employer. You must make another request to your employer.
- You may have to agree to a reduction in pay if you want your employer to agree to you working fewer hours.
- If you have workmates or friends who have arranged flexible working hours, ask them about their experiences.
- How the people you work with will manage if your working arrangement is changed.
- What effect changing your working arrangement will have on your job.
- It may be useful to talk with your employer before you apply. This way you can explore what opportunities might be available.
- You might be able to agree to have a flexible working arrangements trial before the time frame for the formal request starts running.
- You might wish to discuss with your employer before you take parental leave that you are interested in requesting a flexible working arrangement on your return.
- If you want the changes to start on your return from parental leave, you should make your request in good time.
- If in doubt, you might want to discuss a flexible working arrangements trial with your employer.
How to help your employer and yourself:
- Be clear about the date you would like your new working arrangement to begin.
- Give your employer plenty of notice —the approval process can take up to a month and sometimes longer if a problem arises.
- Clarify with your employer about how they like requests to be made, but be sure that everything is in writing. Your employer may have their own form. If you are unsure, use our form.
- Provide as much detail as possible about the working arrangement you would like and explain why.
- Show how your plans would not have a negative impact on your employer’s business or may in fact improve it. For example, you might show that you are available to provide extra cover at peak hours to help improve customer service.
- Identify how the new working arrangement meets your needs, your employer’s needs and the needs of the people you work with.
- Show how any potential problems your plans may present to your employer can be overcome. For example, you may state that starting half an hour later will have minimal impact on the business as this is the quietest time of the day and you can make it up during the lunch period which is much busier.
- Check who will consider your request and make sure that you send it to the appropriate person. If the person is away it may be necessary to send it to another manager.
Tools and Resources
Flexible working arrangements request (form A) - DOC 52KB
Employees template to request an alternative arrangement for flexible working.
Flexible working arrangements approval (form B) - DOC 57KB
Employers template to approve an employee’s request for an alternative arrangement for flexible working.