Under new legislation introduced by the Federal Labor Government there is an ability for the Commission to intercede around disputes concerning the application of provisions pertaining to requests for flexible leave arrangements and the extension of unpaid leave beyond 12 months for parental leave.
The right to request the changes in work arrangements and extend parental leave has been available for some time now however the ability for the Fair Work Commission to become involved and potentially make orders is something that will only come into place after 6 June 2023.
The request to seek more flexible arrangements is restricted to certain types of employees such as parents with young children, carers, people with disabilities, people older than 55 and people experiencing domestic violence.
Currently the provisions in the Fair Work Act regarding these entitlements to request are contained in the following links:
Request for flexible Work Arrangements
Request for extension to parental leave beyond 12 months
Detailed descriptions regarding your rights and responsibilities concerning these entitlements are detailed on the Fair Work Ombudsman’s website
Under the new changes to be applied from 6 June 2023 there is a right to have these matters brought before the Fair Commission for consideration and potential arbitration which currently does not exist.
This means that the Fair Commission can hear grievances concerning the processing and/or refusal to grant a request for these arrangements. A significant issue will be the reasonableness of the rejection of the request and its communication to the employee under the extended provisions under the Fair Work Act where the following must be dealt with:
- Discussion have been held with the employee
- There has been a ‘genuine’ attempt to reach agreement
- After refusing the request the employer can show that genuine regard for the consequences of that refusal
- The refusal is on reasonable business grounds
In consideration of all these matter the ASU strongly advises you as a member to contact us to discuss the matter in regards to your particular circumstance.