Requesting flexible working arrangements

How to request arrangements that suit you

For many parents, balancing work and childcare commitments can be challenging. It’s often necessary for at least one parent to request fewer work hours to keep up with household demands. But asking for part time arrangements should not mean that you have to accept a demotion. FSU encourages parents to take action and request flexible working arrangements when necessary. Our experienced members can help you draft a request to your employer.

Can I change my job to suit my needs as a parent?

As a parent with a child of school age or younger, you have the right to request flexible working arrangements.

Examples of flexible working arrangements include changes to:

  • hours of work (e.g. starting and finishing times)
  • patterns of work (e.g. split shifts or job sharing)
  • locations of work (e.g. different work location or working from home)
  • mode of employment (e.g. requesting to work part time)

How to request flexible working arrangements

Put your request in writing, explaining what changes are needed and the reasons for the request. Requests for flexible working arrangements must be submitted at least four weeks before the date you expect to return to work from parental leave. The earlier your request is submitted, the better, as they can take some time to negotiate. Before you submit a written request, be sure to consult FSU for advice.

Your employer has 21 days to provide you with a written response as to whether your request is granted. Not all requests are granted, so we strongly recommend that you begin discussions with your manager as early as possible so that you can work through any issues that may arise well ahead of your expected return date.

Be sure to keep a copy of all correspondence and get any agreed changes to your work arrangements in writing. This should include:

  • What the arrangements are
  • How long the arrangements will apply (i.e. Is this forever or can you return to full time work at an agreed time?)
  • When/how the arrangements will be reviewed
Contact FSU

FSU members have experience negotiating flexible working arrangements. The information on this page is general in nature, but if you need help talking to your employer about changes to your job or negotiating new working arrangements upon your return to work, please contact FSU on 1300 366 378. Our experienced members can work with you to achieve a fair outcome.