Flexible Working Arrangements
VC statement of flexible work at WSU
“Providing flexible working options at our University plays an integral role in developing opportunities for increased staff satisfaction, retention, engagement, and sustained organisational knowledge. A flexible workplace is one that recognises the competing demands of its employees in balancing work commitments with personal priorities. Our University has many options available to staff who require flexible working arrangements and I encourage staff to discuss these options with their Manager or HR Advisor. When properly managed flexible working arrangements serve to benefit the overall productivity of our University.”
Professor Barney Glover
Vice-Chancellor and University President
As an Employer of Choice for Gender Equality, Western Sydney University is keen to continue its long standing reputation for fairness and equity in the workplace. The University proactively supports flexible work practices in order to attract and retain the greatest diversity and quality of talented staff. The University recognises that flexible workplaces make good business sense for the whole organisation with significant benefits for staff and the University as outlined in the University's Business Case for Flexible Work (2019) . The University recognises our statutory obligations to ensure staff are not subject to discrimination due to family and/or carer responsibilities. Western Sydney University also supports staff’s legal right to request flexible working arrangements in certain circumstances, see below resources for further detail. Moreover, the University understands that flexible working arrangements are key to unlocking workplace gender equality for men and women. For this reason, we encourage all staff and their supervisors to adopt flexible working wherever feasib
Flexible work options and services
Western Sydney University has a range of flexible work information, policies, practices and services including:
- Flexibility Matters - A Toolkit for Supervisors and Staff
- Flexible Work at Western Sydney University online training module (via staff online)
- Flexible Work for Staff Fact Sheet
- Flexible Work Options
- Part-time employment
- Job Share
- Purchased Additional Leave (PAL) Scheme and Purchase Additional Leave Scheme Policy
- Childcare centres
- Salary sacrificing to accommodate staff who have children in childcare
- Support for staff with children and breastfeeding mothers. Western is accredited by the Australian Breastfeeding Association as a Breastfeeding Friendly Workplace.
- Workplace flexibility policy
The University also offers a range of leave options available to assist staff balance work, family and other life demands including:
- Personal leave - can be for family, cultural, religious, bereavement or special needs
- Parental leave - maternity, foster care, adoptive and partner leave
- Reduced hours return to work option after parental leave
- Sick leave
- Long service leave
- Australian Defence Force Reserves Training leave
- Emergency Services Call Out leave
- Leave Without Pay
More information on leave options go to Office of Human Resources.
Flexible work at WSU - Online training available
The University provides an online course in flexible work practices and options available within the institution, called Flexible Work at WSU. This course is designed to support staff, managers and supervisors to better understand flexible working provisions at the University, the benefits of working flexibly and other key issues. This module includes:
- the definition of flexible work and flexible work arrangements
- benefits of providing a flexible work place
- information about how Western Sydney University supports its staff in working flexibly and available options
- ways to request a flexible working arrangement
- policy information and best practice advice for supervisors
- an outline of relevant staff/manager responsibilities, and
- advice on where to find more information and who to contact for assistance.
Managers and all staff are encouraged to complete this training to ensure they are fully informed on flexible work options and obligations at WSU. This short training course can be accessed by logging into My Career Online (via staff online), and searching 'Flexible Work'.
Negotiating flexible working arrangements
Western Sydney University is committed to its obligation to staff under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth). Under the Act, eligible staff have the right to request flexible working arrangements.
You are an eligible employee if
- you have completed at least 12 months’ continuous service with the University before making the request, or
- you are a casual employee and have been employed by Western Sydney University on a regular and systematic basis in a sequence of periods totaling at least 12 months, and you have a reasonable expectation of continuing employment at the University, and
- have in your care a child who is school age or younger
- are a carer, as defined in the Carer Recognition Act 2010 (Cth)
- you have a disability
- are 55 or older
- are experiencing family or domestic violence
- are caring for or supporting an immediate family or household member who requires care or support because of family or domestic violence
What you need to do
You need to submit a formal written request notifying your supervisor that you wish to undertake an individual flexible working arrangement. The request should set out the details of the change sought and the reason for the requested change.
Here are some helpful hints for when writing your proposal
- clearly explain your situation and what your needs are
- make sure your request is reasonable and accommodates everyone.
What your supervisor will do
Once your application has been received your supervisor has 21 days in which to respond to your request in writing. Your request can only be refused under reasonable business grounds. If your request is refused you will receive a written response containing the reason for the refusal. The Fair Work Commission has released several documents relating to the application for a flexible working arrangement and they can be found in the box on the right.
For more information please contact Equity and Diversity or Office of Human Resources