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How to manage flexible work arrangements

How to manage flexible work arrangements (Last Updated On: November 21, 2016)

Australian families are struggling to afford childcare. According to the Australian Institute of Family Studies, three in every 10 families using formal childcare experience financial strain when paying for childcare during work hours. This demographic also struggles to find childcare at short notice. Other families also struggle if they work irregular hours such as shift work or working at night.

What is the solution?

The recent federal budget has proposed $7 billion to childcare and a $246 million trial package for families using nannies. Edward Mallett an employment lawyer and founder of workplace relations firm Employsure said the federal budget will impact small businesses especially when managing staff who request flexible working arrangements.

Employsure has received over 13,000 calls from their clients in the last month and has recorded a spike following the release of the budget. This spike is a result of callers requesting support on how to manage requests for flexible working arrangements.

Mr. Mallett said that “working parents will begin to capitalise on the changes to subsidies and request changes to their working patterns, with consequences for a small business if it fails to comply with current legislation, including general protections or discrimination claims”. In order to protect business owners against these possible discrimination claims, Mr. Mallett reassures SMEs that by following correct employment procedures, owners can prevail. He said companies should approach flexible working arrangement requests with an open mind.

Business owners who object to the requests need to ensure it is on reasonable grounds. For example the cost to the company, impacts on other staff or technological requirements which are needed to fulfill the task away from the workplace.

Recruitment firm Robert Walters has released statistics which reflect the struggles these parents face. A survey revealed ‘four in 10 professionals turn down jobs that fail to offer flexible working arrangements’. If you would like to discuss your limitations to flexible working arrangements or if you would like to implement flexible working arrangements into your employment handbooks, contact Employsure today on 1300 651 415.

Sourced: Australian Financial Review

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