Flexible Work

Flexible Work

UQ is committed to maintaining a vibrant University environment, while also accommodating flexible work for staff. Flexible work allows you to vary your work arrangements to balance your personal and professional life. 

Flexible work can have a positive impact on both individuals and the organisation and may result in some of the following benefits: 

  • increase staff productivity 
  • improve staff recruitment and retention 
  • provide equal opportunities and dismantle potential barriers to the workplace 
  • improve staff well-being 
  • improve teamwork 
  • increase job satisfaction 
  • meet legislative requirements. 

Type of arrangements 

Flexible work is any approved variation to the standard daily or weekly work pattern within a workplace. UQ provides a number of flexible work options for staff subject to the provisions of UQ’s Enterprise Agreement: 

Under the Leave Entitlements Policy, if you have family and carer responsibilities, you may apply for: 

Request Types 

There are several types of flexible work options available at UQ which have been categorised into three request types:  

  • Flexible Work - Request under the Fair Work Act – available to staff who have completed at least 12 months of continuous service at UQ and are typically related to balancing work commitments with caring responsibilities; or they are made by people with a disability or who are experiencing family violence.
  • Workplace flexibility – flexible work that that has been approved following a request by a staff member, that is not a request made under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth). This could include changes to your work pattern (eg Flexi time, 9- day fortnight).
  • Local flexibility – flexible work practices implemented by a manager for a team or organisational unit that their staff may request to participate in. For example an organisational unit leader may offer up to 2 days working from home for all team members. If you choose to opt in you will need to make this request in Workday so that it is  recorded.

Flexible Work - Request under the Fair Work Act

In line with Section 65, Division 4 of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth), you may request a change to your working arrangements if you: 

  • are a parent of or have responsibility for the care of a child who is of school age or younger; 
  • are pregnant;
  • provide personal care, support and assistance to someone that has a disability, medical condition or mental illness or who is aged and frail in accordance with the Carer Recognition Act 2010 (Cth); 
  • have a disability; 
  • are aged 55 years or older; 
  • are experiencing violence from a family member; or 
  • are providing care and support to a member of their immediate family or household who is experiencing violence from their family. 

You must have completed at least 12 months of continuous service at University before making a request.   For casual employees, you must have been employed as a regular casual employee for a sequence of periods of employment during a period of at least 12 months and have a reasonable expectation of continuing employment on a regular and systematic basis. 

When a request is submitted under the provisions of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth), UQ must provide a written response within 21 days of receiving the request. Under the right to request flexible working arrangements, requests can only be refused on ‘reasonable business grounds’ where managers can demonstrate a genuine consideration of the request. Please consult Human Resources for advice in these circumstances. 

The National Employment Standards (NES) form the legal framework that entitles employees to request flexible work arrangements. See the Fair Work Ombudsman’s advice about your right to request flexible working arrangements for more information. 


Mandy is employed as an Administration Assistant in the Faculty of Medicine. Mandy speaks to her manager and explains that her mother has been diagnosed with a chronic illness and she will be providing personal support, care and assistance.  Mandy explains that every second Wednesday morning she will need to transport her mother to a medical appointment and requests to reduce her hours temporarily.  Mandy’s manager agrees and Mandy submits a Flexible Working Arrangement request via Workday for a change of hours which outlines that her request is being made in accordance with the Fair Work Act (Cth). 

Workplace Flexibility

If staff members do not meet the criteria in the Fair Work Act, they may make a request for workplace flexibility that will be considered on a case by case basis in accordance with the guidelines in the Procedure. 

Example 1 

Stuart submits a Workplace Flexibility request for a change of work pattern.  Stuart currently works part time, 3 days per week and explains to his manager that he would like to change his days so that he can undertake volunteering. In his request, Stuart outlines that there are no impacts on his work outputs and advises that he can attend work on some Fridays for meetings if required. 

Example 2 

Mary is employed as a Finance Officer and would like to work a 9-day fortnight to focus on training for a marathon. Mary submits a Workplace Flexibility request for a change of hours which outlines how she plans to manage her current workload in the reduced hours, the benefits this will have on her mental health and offers to review the arrangement in 2 months to ensure her manager is happy with her work outputs based on the reduced hours.  

Mary’s manager discusses the arrangement with her and approves the request in Workday.  

Example 3

Lauren is a HEW 5 Administration Assistant and submits a Workplace Flexibility request for a Voluntary Banked Time arrangement .  She has a current balance of 36 hours when her Manager asks Lauren if she would be interested in working two additional hours past her usual finish time in order to complete work associated with a deadline.  Through discussion it is agreed that Lauren will accrue a further ¼ hours of VBT and 1 ¾ hours will be paid as overtime.  Lauren confirms that she wishes to take TOIL instead of receiving an overtime payment which is approved by her Supervisor.

Local Flexibility 

Flexible work may also be implemented locally within a team, Organisational Unit or function. Staff members may make a request to participate in a local flexible work practice applicable to them that will be considered on a case by case basis in accordance with the guidelines in the Procedure. 


Nancy is a Finance Manager and explains during a team meeting that local flexibility is available to team members should they wish to participate.  Nancy explains that team members are able to engage in hybrid working by working from home two days per week if they wish to and that this is available to everyone in the team.  After speaking with each team member individually about their preference she is able to ensure that there is coverage within the office each day of the week.  The team members who wish to participate submit a Local Flexibility request in Workday, attach their home office inspection checklist and acknowledge that they have purchased any additional equipment required and understand the requirements that apply to accessing IT systems and software remotely. 


Talk to your supervisor/manager about the options which may be suitable for you.   Once you have agreed the best option, you can submit a request for flexible work in Workday.   

Quick Reference Guides

All requests for flexible work are made through the ‘My Flexible Work’ App in Workday. Please refer to the below guides based on what is relevant to you.  

Visit the My Work Arrangements page on the Systems Training Hub to find the following guides: 


Staff responsibilities 

A staff member undertaking flexible work must adhere to the terms and conditions of their employment, University policies and relevant legislation including the following: 

  • adhering to relevant work, health and safety requirements, including adhering to the principles of the Alcohol and Other Drugs Policy when working from home; 

  • will assume the costs of additional equipment/facilities not already supplied by the University based on role specific requirements and of any home and contents insurance cover required for additional equipment/facilities that they purchase for the purpose of undertaking the arrangement; 

  • may be required to modify their working arrangements to participate in planned activities, events or meetings and during specific periods of peak activity where work is required to be conducted on site; 

  • are required to clearly advise others of their availability and working timeframes (for example, through email, out of office notifications and other technological communication methods); 

  • are expected to be contactable and available during agreed work times; 

  • will comply, if they are a Professional staff member, with the Attendance, Hours of Work and Overtime (Professional Staff) – Procedures when working from home; 

  • will access Personal Leave (Sick and Carer’s) when working from home, if they are not fit for work, because of personal illness or injury, or if they need to provide care or support to a member of the staff member’s immediate or extended family, household, or significant other; 

  • may have office allocations and/or other space and facilities adjusted accordingly;  

  • will be paid at ordinary rates, if voluntarily working outside the standard spread of hours (including weekends), set out in UQ’s Enterprise Agreement as part of their flexible working arrangement, approved workplace flexibility or systemic flexibility; and 

  • must otherwise work within the span of hours applicable to their position in the Enterprise Agreement, unless the approval of their manager has been obtained in advance. 

Manager responsibilities 

Managers are responsible for: 

  • managing flexible work whilst maintaining service delivery, effective team culture and contributing to a vibrant campus; 

  • demonstrating a genuine consideration of the request including records of discussion as required; 

  • responding to requests for flexible working arrangements under the Fair Work Act within 21 days; 

  • responding to requests for workplace flexibility or approval to participate in local flexibility in a timely manner; 

  • where necessary, to intervene to resolve any issues or conflicts pertaining to workplace flexibility; and  

  • ensuring advertised roles have a clear statement regarding flexible work options potentially available in the role. 

For more information regarding staff and manager responsibilities please refer to the Flexible Work Policy.  


Employee - Frequently Asked Questions

Q.  For requests under the Fair Work Act what does ‘of school age’ mean? In Queensland, a child is considered school age from 6 years and 6 months until they turn 16, or they complete Year 10 (whichever comes first). 
Q. Is there a set number of days that someone can work from home? On average, more time must be spent on UQ sites than at home, unless there are exceptional circumstances which prevent this from occurring. 
Q. Will the University supply equipment for WFH arrangements? The staff member will assume the costs of additional equipment/facilities not already supplied by the University based on role specific requirements and of any home and contents insurance cover required for additional equipment/facilities that they purchase for the purpose of undertaking the arrangement​. 
Q. Can working from home be used when someone is sick or needs to provide care?​ Staff will access Personal Leave (Sick and Carer’s) if they are not fit for work, because of personal illness or injury, or if they need to provide care or support to a member of the staff member’s immediate or extended family, household, or significant other​. 
Q. What happens if my non work day falls on a public holiday? If a staff member has requested  flexible work and does not usually work on the day of the public holiday, they will not be entitled to another day off in lieu.


Manager - Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Can a trial period be introduced? Yes, if there is concern about the potential operational impacts, a trial period can be introduced in order to make an assessment on the viability of the arrangement.  A trial period is usually for three months. 
Q. Does a new request need to be submitted for existing flexible work? No, a request is only required if there is a change to flexible work or to establish a new flexible work request.  If the Flexible Work request includes work from home (WFH) and the Working from Home - Work Area Self-Assessment  has not been completed previously, a new request should be submitted including completion of the self-assessment and submitting a declaration. Employees are also required to complete the Recording Working from Home in Workday business process.
Q. What considerations should be made as part of the recruitment process? Managers should consider if flexible work options are available within the role and make it clear through the advertising and interview process what can be requested.  If a request is unable to be accommodated through the probation process it should be made clear at this stage.