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Changes to the Fair Work Act 2009

Changes to the Fair Work Act 2009 which come into force from the 1 January 2014 deal with the right of employees to request flexible working arrangements. The right to request flexible working arrangements will be extended to employees in a variety of new and different circumstances. These will include employees over the age 55, […]

Changes to the Fair Work Act 2009

Changes to the Fair Work Act 2009

By Aylward Game - Jul 19, 2013 Articles

Changes to the Fair Work Act 2009 which come into force from the 1 January 2014 deal with the right of employees to request flexible working arrangements. The right to request flexible working arrangements will be extended to employees in a variety of new and different circumstances. These will include employees over the age 55, those with caring responsibilities or employees with a disability amongst others.

The right to request flexible working arrangements, including part time hours, on return to work from parental leave has been available for sometime now and was recently considered by the Fair Work Commission in the case of Rind v The Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees. In that case, the employer refused the employee’s request to return to work on a part time basis after a period of parental leave. The Fair Work Commission decided that the employer’s refusal was not reasonable and that the employer had therefore constructively dismissed the employee by declining the request to return to work part time.

With the extension of the right to request flexible working arrangements that will apply from 1 January 2014 employers will have to give extremely careful consideration to any requests that they receive from employees for flexible working arrangements and particularly to be allowed to work part time.

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