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7 Best Practice Steps to Introduce Flexibility Agreements in the Workplace

April 11, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 190

Flexible workplace agreements will deliver great benefits to both employers and their employees. They will increase business productivity by way of increasing employee's job satisfaction and in turn decrease staff turnover and absenteeism. Flexible workplace arrangements will accommodate staff in their work life balance and personal circumstances.

Individual flexibility arrangements administration and implementation is mainly the responsibility of an employer who needs to make sure that the employee is better off overall with the introduction of such an arrangement. The 'better off overall' assessment can mean that the worker is not worse off in terms of their pay and conditions that may include hours, overtime rates, allowances, leave loading and alike.

Employees on the other hand are not obligated to enter into this agreement if they for whatever reason don't want to. Businesses cannot force workers into a flexibility arrangement. If a flexible arrangement could not be achieved, employee must not be discriminated against or treated adversely in any way for refusing to enter into this agreement. As always, it is prudent for the employers to consider any language, cultural or other barriers that may influence worker's understanding of the conditions of any proposed flexibility agreement.

In the case that such arrangement has been agreed to by both sides, employee has the right to terminate this agreement at any stage if he or she deems that the agreement has put them in the disadvantaged position. In fact, the agreement can be terminated by either party as long as the appropriate written notice is given. One month notice is normally fair and adequate.

The process of entering individual flexibility arrangement would look like this:

  • After the employee or the employer decide that they would like to have a flexibility agreement, either party needs to approach the other with the details of the request.
  • After discussing the terms of the proposal, employer needs to make sure that the employee is not disadvantaged in any way by the new arrangement and that the proposal does not contain any unlawful terms.
  • Both parties sign and keep the copy of the agreement.

Listed below are the 7 best practice steps on using individual flexibility agreements in the workplace:

  1. Identify opportunities where individual flexibility arrangement could benefit the business and employees at the same time.
  2. Develop a process for consultation that will allow employees to approach the company. This process needs to encourage employees to identify flexible opportunities that will improve their work life balance.
  3. Make sure that the agreement reflects genuine needs and does not put an employee in the disadvantaged position.
  4. Make sure that the proposed individual flexibility agreement does not contain unlawful terms - have it checked over by employment lawyers.
  5. Employees must not be unduly pressured to agree to any such agreement and a reasonable time should be allowed for employee's consideration as well as the right to bring up any issues with the company.
  6. Make the environment of openness where it is easy for employees to approach the company with the flexibility arrangement request.
  7. If employees wish so, allow them to be represented and also give genuine consideration to worker's individual flexibility arrangement request.

McArdle Legal employment lawyers in Sydney assist employees and employers while McArdle Migration Immigration lawyers Sydney assist clients obtain work visas and permanent residency in Australia every day.

Source: EzineArticles
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