In 2016, the New South Wales (NSW) Government committed to making all roles in the NSW Government Sector flexible based on the principle of ‘if not, why not’.

Government sector agency heads and Secretaries are responsible for implementing this policy commitment in their agencies. This section contains information, advice, guidance on best practice and other tools to support leaders and People and Culture teams in this implementation, and resources for managers and employees to negotiate what working flexibly means at a local level.

Working flexibly: resources for employees

Understand your employee rights and responsibilities for flexible working.

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Flexible teams: resources for managers

If you manage a team, understand how to make flexible working work.

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Implementing flexibility: resources for people and culture

Flexible working resources for People and Culture teams to support implementation, revise policy, build capability, support change, monitor and evaluate progress.

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Flexible organisations: resources for leaders

Understand your roles and responsibilities for flexible working as an executive or senior leader.

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Resources to help employees and teams work differently and maintain productivity during COVID-19.

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Evaluation Report

The NSW Public Service Commission (PSC) was funded by our sector to develop and implement a range of tools, resources, and activities to assist our sector colleagues to embed truly flexible working practices.

As part of our commitment to transparency, we also commissioned an independent consultancy to evaluate this work. The purpose was:

  • to determine the extent to which the outcomes we expected were achieved
  • establish the Program’s wider impact
  • to assess the design and delivery of the Program
  • to capture learnings and inform the future of PSC’s role in supporting workforce change implementation.

Flexible Working Evaluation Report

Strategic framework

Flexible working is about rethinking the where, when and how your work can be done, in a way that maintains or improves service delivery for the people of NSW. It does not mean every role, or every individual, can or should (or has to) work flexibly but it does mean that everyone can begin a conversation about what type of flexible working is available to them, regardless of the reason they are seeking it.

With the diversity of jobs across the sector and the people doing them, there is no ‘one-size-fits all’ approach to flexible working. What a flexible working arrangement looks like, and how it works, will be different according to the job, the team, the service being delivered and the location. However, this commitment starts with the assumption that any proposal to work flexibly will be fully considered from the perspective of ‘how can we make this work?’

To help agencies, managers and employees determine how it might work in their given context, we have developed a strategic framework with six principles that everyone can apply to determine their own flexible working solution – these principles are contained in Make Flexibility Count.

Make Flexibility Count Framework

For everyone – Everyone is able to request the types of flexibility that make sense within their roles but what it looks like will vary depending on the role.
Mutually beneficial – Flexible working will be successful when it creates the best outcomes for employees, employers and customers.
About the team – Flexible arrangements must have a team overview about how work will be distributed and solve for the needs of team members, including what is fair and equitable for that team.
Give and take - Flexibility requires give and take between the employee, manager and team.
Leader led – Employees will take up flexible work when they see their leaders building flexible working into their own lives and across their organisation.
Context matters – Agencies will need to develop their own strategies based on their role types, operating contexts and industrial arrangements.

Who does this policy commitment apply to?

This policy commitment applies to all employees of the NSW government sector. This includes employees of the following services, as defined in Part 1 s.3 of the NSW Government Sector Employment Act (2013):

  • the Public Service
  • the Teaching Service
  • the NSW Police Force
  • the NSW Health Service
  • the Transport Service of New South Wales
  • any other service of the Crown (including the service of any NSW government agency)
  • the service of any other person or body constituted by or under an Act or exercising public functions (such as a State-owned corporation), being a person or body that is prescribed by the regulations for the purposes of this definition.