Flexible working

flexible working conditions to work from home

The NSW Government has committed to making all roles flexible in the NSW government sector on the basis of ‘if not, why not’ by 2019.

This webpage contains the information, advice, guidance on best practice and other tools to support agency heads and secretaries to lead the implementation of flexible working, and managers and employees to know how to negotiate what working flexibly means at a local level.

What does ‘if not, why not’ mean?

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 what it does mean is 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:

  • 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.