As a reflection of the changing nature of the workplace, the Fair Work Commission has recently announced and prepared a model ‘work from home’ schedule. Currently, most awards don’t directly reflect this working arrangement which has become significantly more common due to restrictions as a result of COVID-19.
According to the information note from the Fair Work Commission:
“Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show that almost one-third of employed persons regularly performed some work from home prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Additional data found that around 3 in 10 employees had home-based work as a workplace entitlement. For those that did work from home, fewer than half had a formal working from home arrangement with their employer.”
The Work From Home model schedule is suggested as a starting point, knowing that there will need to be adjustments for various awards (or that it wouldn’t be practical in some awards and circumstances).
It’s currently suggested that:
- An employee could write to their employer to request to work from home on some or all workdays.
- The employee may also request a change to their usual times of work when working from home.
- The employee could request to compress the working week into fewer days
- Similarly to other flexibility agreements, the agreement would need to be documented in writing, kept for 7 years.
You can access the full Statement from Fair Work Commission President, Justice Ross here.
You can access the Fair Work Commission information note here.
Talk to our Workplace Partners if you need help understanding your current requirements regarding working from home arrangements.
*This is general information only and doesn’t take your specific circumstances into account.