Principles that underpin a flexible-by-default approach

The following principles underpin this guidance and the attached resources. Agencies can use these principles as key messages to engage with leaders, managers, employees and unions and as they embed flexible-by-default.1

Flexible-by-default is:

IF NOT, WHY NOT?

All roles are treated as flexible unless there is a genuine business reason for a role not to be.

Flexibility is equally available to women, men and gender-diverse employees, irrespective of the reason for wanting it. Working flexibly does not undermine career progression or pay.

WORKS FOR THE ROLE

Every role should be suitable for some form of flexibility but not every type of flexibility will work for every role. Genuine business reasons may mean that some types of flexibility cannot be implemented for some roles.

WORKS FOR AGENCIES AND TEAMS

Flexible working should not be viewed as something which is just agreed between an employee and manager. This means that the impact of flexible arrangements should be considered on teams, and the agency as a whole.

REQUIRES GIVE AND TAKE

Flexibility requires give and take between the employee, manager and team. It also places collective obligations on employees, managers and teams to be open and adaptable so that it works for everyone.

MUTUALLY BENEFICIAL

Flexible working needs to work for the agency, teams and employees. Consideration should be given to how flexible work arrangements can maintain or enhance service delivery and the performance of agencies, teams and employees. It should not result in increased workloads for employees working flexibly, or for other team members who are not.

ACTIVELY CHAMPIONED BY LEADERS

Leaders support, champion and role model flexible working for their teams and themselves.

 


1The Principles have been adapted from the NSW Public Service Commission Discussion Paper: Flexible Working Strategy: https://psa.asn.au/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Flexible-Working-Discussion-Paper.pdf © State of New South Wales acting through the Public Service Commission.

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