How do I approach my employer?

First, do some research.

Find out if your organisation has work life balance policies:

  • the first point of contact should be your human resources department or manager
  • if you feel uncomfortable asking your human resources department or manager, check with a trusted colleague at work
  • many organisations make their policies available for employees to view on the intranet, share drive or in hard copy
  • your organisation may have formalised their work life balance policies in a workplace agreement
  • for information about the award or agreement covering your job, or to find out about your minimum entitlements under industrial relations, visit the SafeWork SA website or call the Help Centre on 1300 365 255.

Then, prepare and present:

  • be clear about the Flexible Working Arrangement  you are requesting - is it an entitlement under an award or legislation or something in addition to the minimum entitlements? Check the National Employment Standards.
  • write a proposal about your flexibility needs
  • arrange a meeting with your manager or team leader to discuss the proposal in detail
  • show your employer that the proposed arrangement will not only benefit you, but will also benefit the business
  • be prepared to compromise
  • allow time for a response from management (visit the Fair Work Australia website to review prescribed timeframes) 
  • agree on a date to start and a review date if the flexible work arrangement is to be trialed.

Employer's discretion
Keep in mind:

  • a new policy or individual arrangement, in addition to minimum entitlements, is made at the discretion of your employer
  • your employer does not have to agree to its introduction
  • if the employer does agree to a proposal, they may choose to introduce it in a variety of ways.


Before starting a new arrangement, such as part-time work, the employer and employee must agree in writing to any changes in the employee's position description and any other change in conditions.


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Last Modified Date: 13/JAN/2011