Who can work flexibly?

In Australia, the Fair Work Act permits requests for flexible work arrangements from individuals if they: - are the parent, or have responsibility for the care, of a child who is of school age or younger

are a carer (within the meaning of the Carer Recognition Act 2010)

  • Have a disability
  • Are 55 or older
  • Are experiencing violence from a member of their family, or
  • Provide care or support to a member of their immediate family or household, who requires care or support because they are experiencing violence from their family.

If an employee is the parent of a child or has responsibility for the care of a child and is returning to work after taking parental or adoption leave, the employee may request to return to work on a part-time basis to help them care for the child.

You can find more about the right to work flexibly by visiting the Fair Work website.

Looking for case studies and more examples, including when you can reject flexible work arrangements? We recommend you check out the website of our legal partner, Justitia.

In New Zealand, all employees have a right to change to their working arrangements, from the first day of their employment. They must make their request in good faith. Employees can make as many requests as they wish in a year.

Employers must respond to requests within 1 month, in writing. They must consider and answer requests in good faith. Employers can only refuse flexible working arrangements on the grounds listed in the Employment Relations Act 2000.

You can find more information by visiting the employment.govt.nz website.

In the United Kingdom, all employees have the legal right to request flexible work arrangements, not just parents and carers, provided they have worked for the same employer for at least 26 weeks. They can do this by ‘making a statutory application’. For more information on flexible work arrangements in the UK, visit the gov.uk website.