FWAs allow members to achieve a healthy work-life balance by way of increased flexibility in how they may perform their roles. All AFP appointees are able to apply for an FWA for various reasons, with approved applications being considerate of operational requirements and the reason behind the request.
FWAs may be requested for a range of reasons including, but not limited to: alteration of hours and/or working days, job sharing, the purchasing of leave, and remote working either at home or overseas.
How to Apply
Members should speak with their supervisor initially to discuss what the member is seeking through the FWA and how best it may be implemented. FWA work arrangements may be either Formal or Informal, and the process of applying can differ depending on which type is sought:
- Informal FWA – if, following the initial discussion, it is agreed between you and your supervisor that an FWA does not alter the terms of the EA (e.g., criteria to receive Composite) and it can be managed informally, no further approval is required.
- Formal FWA – if the FWA will require alteration of EA terms, if intended for regular or long-term change, or if your supervisor does not support the application, then additional approval is required. To apply for a Formal FWA, you can either submit an FWA Request form or an email request. Either request avenue must be submitted at least four weeks prior to the proposed commencement of the FWA.
Considerations for FWA Approval
Supervisors and delegates are encouraged to apply an “if not, why not” approach when assessing FWA requests. This includes considering operational requirements, business requirements, and safety standards. If it is determined that these criteria are not impacted by the FWA, then the application should be approved.
It is expected that both the member and their supervisor are realistic in creating the FWA. Notwithstanding the above considerations for delegates/supervisors when assessing an FWA application, refusal can only be on the basis of reasonable grounds including, but not limited to:
- Perceived unacceptable financial impact, reduced efficiency, or reduced ability to maintain stakeholder relationships; and/or
- Perceived inability to organise work among staff, availability in alternative AFP locations, or balance between the nature of the role and the type of FWA sought.
Refusal or Termination of FWA
If the FWA is refused, the delegate must provide a written response to the supervisor and employee within 21 calendar days of the request being made.
If the FWA is accepted, it must be internally reviewed on a regular basis (i.e., every three months) and formally reviewed every twelve months. If it is determined, upon review, that the needs of employees and that of the business areas are no longer being met, the FWA may be altered or terminated. Should the FWA be terminated at the request of the employee or delegate, four weeks’ written notice must be provided to both the business area and pay team (unless otherwise agreed).