Flexible working policy

Purpose

RMIT recognises the importance of flexible working arrangements in maintaining a diverse and adaptable workforce and will assess all staff requests for flexible working arrangements related to any personal attribute, balancing work, life and family needs.

RMIT is committed to ensuring staff members are able to effectively manage their work, life and family needs by supporting flexible working arrangements.

This is in line with requirements of the Victorian Equal Opportunity Act, the University’s Workplace Agreements and the National Employment Standards in the Fair Work Australia Act 2009 which support carer and parent responsibilities.

Scope

This policy applies to all fixed term, continuing and casual staff members who have been employed by RMIT on a regular and systematic basis of employment.

It also applies to managers responsible for approving a request for flexible working arrangements.

Policy provisions

To meet these policy objectives, the following principles apply:

1. Managers must ensure that flexible working arrangements are:

  • fair and equitable for all staff
  • aligned to the needs of the business unit and RMIT
  • consistent with the University’s Workplace Agreements

2. Managers considering requests for flexible working arrangements must consider:

  • operational requirements and impact on service
  • the nature of the staff member’s work and parental or carer responsibilities
  • impact on the work group and the workload of other staff members
  • any additional costs
  • the flow-on affect of the flexible work arrangement

3. Managers need to ensure staff are aware and actively promote the availability of flexible work arrangements, considering how positions in their team can be worked flexibly. Ensure staff are supported in their request and measure uptake of flexible working arrangements both formal and informal.

4. Requests for flexible working arrangements will only be denied on reasonable business grounds.

5. Requests for flexible working arrangements must be approved by the appropriate delegated authority. Applicants must be advised in writing of the outcome of their request for flexible working arrangements within 21 days of the request being lodged.

6. When considering a flexibility arrangement, the staff member is advised that they may have a representative negotiate the arrangement on their behalf. The staff member (and their representative where applicable) will have at least three working days to consider the proposed flexibility arrangements.

7. Flexible work arrangements are not transferable. Staff members who apply for a new position must re-apply for their flexible working arrangements. There is no guarantee that the current arrangement will be automatically transferred. Further, flexibility arrangements cannot be a precondition for employment, reclassification or promotion.

8. Staff members are not limited to one flexible working arrangement. For example, a staff member can work part-time and request a flexible start and finish time.

9. Consistent with the relevant Workplace Agreement, professional staff members can request to work alternative hours of work that fall outside the span of ordinary hours as long as the weekly hours do not exceed 36 hours per week.

10. All formal flexible working arrangements will be agreed in writing with a start and end date, recorded in the HR system, and reviewed periodically, as a minimum annually.

11. All formal flexible working arrangements will include a trial period. Following the trial period, arrangements will be reviewed and may be terminated, revised or continued.

12. Flexible working arrangements will end automatically at the predetermined date or can be terminated by the staff member or the University with reasonable notice.

13. RMIT will conduct regular analysis of the take up of flexibility working options and workplace adjustment in order to identify improvements and promote flexible working options available to staff and managers both men and women.

[Next: Supporting resources]