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The Supervisor's role

What should supervisors consider when staff request a flexible work arrangement?

Supervisors should familiarise themselves with the following documents that relate to flexible work:

Supervisors must consider all relevant facts in relation to the staff member's request, including:

  • the staff member's circumstances;
  • the nature of the staff member's role;
  • the nature of the arrangements required to accommodate those responsibilities;
  • the financial circumstances of the University;
  • the size and nature of the work area and the University's operations; and
  • the effect on the work area and on the University's operations of accommodating those responsibilities, including-
    • the financial impact of doing so;
    • the number of persons who would benefit from or be disadvantaged by doing so;
    • the impact on efficiency and productivity and, if applicable, on customer service of doing so;
    • the consequences for the University of making such accommodation; and
    • the consequences for the staff member of not making such accommodation.

Other considerations that might be relevant in a particular case include:

  • the workload of other staff members;
  • the impact on the budget, for example whether penalty or additional overtime rates would be payable;
  • if additional equipment would be required, for example telephone and computer facilities for a staff member to work from home;
  • when the arrangements would start and how long they would be needed;
  • the accrued entitlements of the staff member, such as personal leave and recreation leave; and
  • whether any legal or other constraints affect the feasibility of the request.

This negotiation guide (PDF, 272.9 KB) provides more information on what to consider when staff request a flexible work arrangement.

Please note: Supervisors should advise the staff member in writing whether their request has been approved or refused within 21 days of receiving the staff member's request.


The Equity and Diversity Unit offer Equal Employment Opportunity training to managers, supervisors and team leaders. This training includes information on flexible work arrangements in relation to considering requests from parent and carer staff members at Deakin.

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