Flexible Work

Arrangements staff may be able to access

Transfer to part-time
A full-time employee on a period of parental leave may apply to return to work on a part-time basis for a defined period following the completion of the parental leave. An employee may request to extend the defined period. An application to return to work on a part-time basis must be made at least eight weeks prior to the completion of the parental leave.
Job sharing
Job sharing is an arrangement where a full-time position is shared between two part-time employees on a regular ongoing basis. Job sharing allows managers to implement a greater variety of options and provides employees the flexibility of preferred work patterns.
Flextime is an arrangement which may be available to 35-hour and 38-hour professional staff, allowing for flexibility in the way paid hours are worked.
Subject to the operational requirements of the work unit, flextime can allow staff to:
  • Vary start and finish times within the flex span of hours;
  • Acculmulate additional hours;
  • Take off full or part days at a mutually agreed time; and
  • Establish other arrangements to suit individual circumstances.
Phased retirement
Phased retirement is a flexible working concept that enables employees to prepare for retirement while still contributing to the workplace. Phased retirement generally involves a step down approach in which an employee begins to reduce working hours/days per week with a view to further reduce these as they progress toward retirement. This can be a mutually beneficial process for the staff member and UNSW, as phased retirement can greatly assist the University with its succession planning.

Preparing a Flexible Work Proposal

Staff Considerations
Begin by giving some thought to the requirements of your work unit. Think about whether the essential requirements of your position can be effectively carried out under your proposed arrangement. Constructing a flexible work proposal includes consideration of who will be affected by the proposed change(s), solutions to possible concerns, and the perceived benefits. This will ensure the flexible work arrangement you are proposing meets your personal, family, social and/or community responsibilities, while also meeting the operational requirements of the work unit.
Factors to consider:
  • Details of the proposed arrangement and a defined time for the arrangement (i.e. it should not be open ended)
  • Think about benefits to the work unit and consider the views and needs of other staff in your work area
  • Think about how you can ensure effective communication between yourself and others if you are working pare-time or reduced hours
Remember that flexibility works both ways; you might like to suggest how the arrangement could be monitored and evaluated. You might consider speaking with other staff that are already utilising flexible work options and seek advice from Human Resources, particularly if you want to clarify the impact of the change on superannuation, long service leave and other entitlements. It is a good idea for managers to request a copy of the flexbile work proposal from the staff member before arranging a face-to-face meeting to discuss the proposal.
Manager Considerations
When evaluating a proposal, managers should: 
  • Be mindful of the organisational benefits of utilising flexible work options and perhaps speak with other managers who already have staff utilising flexible work options
  • Clarify any details about the arrangement which are of particular concern to you, such as hours, days, start and finish times etc
  • Ensure workloads will be adjusted to reflect reductions in remuneration/ the hours being worked
  • Discuss the arrangement openly and honestly with other staff that may be affected by the work arrangement
  • Establish up-front when you will review the arrangement and discuss how it might be adjusted if required
  • Consult with HR prior to finalising the flexible work agreement
  • Consider alternative flexible work options or leave entitlements which might meet the needs of the employee, if the proposal cannot be reasonably accomodated