Section G - Flexible working arrangements

Updated: 6 December 2016

29 Flexibility in working arrangements

29.1 Consistent with section 65 of the FWA, an Employee may request flexible working arrangements, including part-time hours, in a limited number of circumstances.

29.2 A request made in accordance with clause 29.1 must be in writing and set out the details of the change sought and the reasons for the change. The Electoral Commissioner will respond in writing to the request within 21 days and will only refuse a request on reasonable business grounds. Where the request is refused, the response will include reasons for the refusal.

30 APS 1–6 employees' flexible working arrangements

30.1 In support of work-life balance, an Employee at the APS 1–6 Classification is able to work their ordinary hours (150 hours for a full-time employee) flexibly within the bandwidth during the Settlement Period. The ability of an Employee to work flexibly requires that it meets the operational requirements of the Employee's workplace, including the availability of suitable work to be done during the ordinary hours worked. Any flexible working arrangements may be affected if the Employee's ordinary hours are subject to the provisions of clauses 23, 24, 25 or 29 of this Agreement.

31 Flextime

31.1 In addition to the ability to work flexibly (clause 30),Flextime will be available to an Employee at the APS 1–6 Classification, other than Casual Employees, so that they are able to accrue a Flextime Credit or Debit in relation to ordinary hours worked within the bandwidth.

31.2 Subject to anything described in this clause, an Employee has the right to accrue Flextime Credit and use such Flextime Credit for absences, including full day absences, in each Settlement Period. An Employee is required to give reasonable notice and have approval for any planned absence related to the use of Flextime Credits of a full day or more, or for part days where operational requirements (e.g. office opening hours) would be adversely affected.

31.3 The effective operation of Flextime to meet operational and personal needs requires co-operation between an Employee and their supervisor as to how Flextime Credits may be accrued and used. The accrual of Flextime Credits or Debits is subject to:

  1. the Employee's ordinary hours not being subject to the provisions of clauses 23, 24 or 25 of this Agreement, and
  2. the Employee being productively engaged and there is sufficient work available to support working Flextime, and
  3. being consistent with overtime provisions (clause 36).

31.4 An Employee shall provide prior notice to their supervisor if the Employee intends to work at a time where the manager has raised a concern consistent with 31.3(b). Attendance at such time is subject to the supervisor's approval.

31.5 Flextime Credits may also be accrued for work done outside the bandwidth if it is in accordance with overtime provisions (clause 36) or domestic travel provisions (clause 55). For the avoidance of doubt, Employees performing work directed by the AEC in locations outside Australia will not be eligible to accrue Flextime Credits or Debits.

31.6 The following arrangements apply in relation to the accrual and use of flextime:

  1. The maximum Flextime Credit carryover from one Settlement Period to the next for a full-time Employee is 25 hours; pro-rata for part-time Employees.
  2. The maximum Flextime Debit from one Settlement Period to the next is ten for full-time Employees, and five hours for part-time Employees.
  3. Where an Employee exceeds the maximum hours of Flextime Debit at the end of the Settlement Period, the amount by which the debit exceeds the maximum hours shall be treated as Miscellaneous Leave without pay and an appropriate deduction will be made from the Employee's pay; and
  4. An Employee may access up to five days of Flextime Credits, of which three days or up to six half days may be consecutive, in one Settlement Period.

31.7 An Employee may not carry over into the next Settlement Period an accrued Flextime Credit in excess of the maximum unless:

  1. The Employee has brought the matter to the attention of the Electoral Commissioner before the end of the Settlement Period; and
  2. The Electoral Commissioner and Employee have put in place a plan to reduce the accrued Flextime Credit below the maximum prior to the end of the next Settlement Period.

32 Reversion to standard work pattern

32.1 When the Electoral Commissioner is satisfied that an Employee who is working flextime is misusing the arrangement or the Employee's attendance is unsatisfactory, the Electoral Commissioner may determine that the Employee work a standard work pattern (clause 22.2).

32.2 The Electoral Commissioner will provide the Employee with a written explanation of the reasons for reverting from flextime arrangements to a standard work pattern.

32.3 Access to flextime arrangements may be restored by the Electoral Commissioner when the Electoral Commissioner is satisfied that an Employee has achieved and sustained a satisfactory attendance record and/or performance standards.

33 EL Employees' flexible working arrangements

33.1 EL Employees are able to work flexible hours. This means variations in attendance times and short-term absences, including full day absences, may be agreed between the EL Employee and the Electoral Commissioner in advance without the need for a leave application.

33.2 This clause does not apply in instances where an EL Employee has received payment for overtime in accordance with clause 37.1.

33.3 An EL Employee will only be required to work additional hours if they are considered reasonable. In accordance with section 62 of the FWA, an EL Employee may refuse to work additional hours if they are unreasonable.

Accruing Authorised TOIL

33.4 From issue to the return of writs for an electoral event, accruing Authorised TOIL Credits is subject to the prior written approval of the Electoral Commissioner before any additional hours are worked. If approval is granted, credits may be accrued:

  1. on an hour for hour basis in recognition of additional or excessive hours these employees have worked; and
  2. at time and a half for each additional hour worked on weekends and public holidays.

33.5 All other periods are business as usual and accruing Authorised TOIL Credits and the rate of accrual is subject to the prior written approval of the Electoral Commissioner before any additional hours are worked.

33.6 Authorised TOIL Credits cannot be accrued for hours of work for which the EL Employee has received payment for overtime.

33.7 Subject to clause 33.4 and 33.5, an EL Employee and their supervisor must both keep a written record that will include the following:

  1. all additional hours worked;
  2. a copy of any TOIL arrangements made;
  3. TOIL taken; and
  4. Authorised TOIL Credits.

33.8 EL Employees performing work directed by the AEC in locations outside Australia will not be eligible for TOIL.

Accessing Authorised TOIL Credits

33.9 Subject to clauses 33.12 to 33.14, Authorised TOIL Credits accrued in:

  1. an electoral event period must be used by an EL Employee within 6 months of the return of the writs; or
  2. business as usual periods must be used by an EL Employee within 3 months after having worked the additional hours.

33.10 Authorised TOIL Credits that are not either cashed out in accordance with clauses 33.12 to 33.14 or taken in accordance with this clause 33.9 will be lost to the EL Employee.

33.11 For the avoidance of doubt, Authorised TOIL Credits will not be paid out on termination of employment with the AEC.

Cash out

33.12 An EL Employee may seek the Electoral Commissioner's approval for a once off cash out of up to 100 hours per financial year for any unused Authorised TOIL Credits, subject to criteria the following criteria being satisfied:

  1. The EL Employee has requested the cash out on or before 30 June; and
  2. The request to cash out relates to Authorised TOIL Credits accumulated in that financial year; and
  3. The EL Employee has taken a minimum of 3 weeks annual leave and 5 days (pro-rated for part time EL employees) of Authorised TOIL Credits in that financial year.

33.13 The cash out of unused Authorised TOIL Credit in accordance with this clause is paid as a once-off lump sum payment in the new financial year. It will not count as salary for any purpose.

33.14 Authorised TOIL Credits may only be cashed out in the following financial year on the basis of the Employee's substantive salary during the previous financial year. The Electoral Commissioner may approve payment at the temporary reassignment salary where supported by a business case.

34 Part-time employment

34.1 An Employee engaged on a part-time basis is one whose regular ordinary hours of work are less than 150 hours over a four week period.

34.2 An Employee may seek agreement from the Electoral Commissioner to enter into a part-time work agreement.

34.3 Full time Employees will not be required to convert to part-time hours without their consent.

34.4 Prior to seeking to recruit to a role, the Electoral Commissioner may designate duties of that role to be performed on a part-time basis and recruit on that basis.

34.5 Remuneration and leave benefits for Employees engaged on a part-time basis will be calculated on a pro-rata basis, apart from specific payments and allowances that are not contingent upon hours worked (for example, travel allowance), in which case these Employees will receive the same amount as full time Employees.

34.6 For part-time Employees, the daily standard work pattern are the hours in the contract of engagement or otherwise approved in the relevant part-time work agreement.

34.7 Unless otherwise agreed between the Electoral Commissioner and the Employee, the minimum number of ordinary hours will be no less than three consecutive hours per day on any day worked by an Employee. An unpaid meal break will not be regarded as breaking continuity of hours of work.

34.8 An Employee, who is engaged on a part-time basis or who has an approved part-time work agreement, and the Electoral Commissioner will, by agreement in writing, determine the actual pattern of hours to be worked each week within the context of the total part-time hours.

34.9 Subject to the agreement of the Electoral Commissioner, part-time Employees will be able to adjust their part-time hours and work patterns within the bandwidth. Ordinary Hourly Rates of pay will apply in such instances, subject to clause 36.

34.10 Employees returning directly from parental leave will be provided with access to part-time work upon application.

34.11 For Employees other than those returning directly from parental leave, subject to operational requirements and other considerations, requests for part-time work will be considered and approved by the Electoral Commissioner. Requests will not be unreasonably refused.

34.12 An Employee with an approved part-time work agreement will revert to full-time hours at the conclusion of their part-time work agreement or beforehand as agreed between the Employee and the Electoral Commissioner. Consent to revert to full-time hours will not be unreasonably withheld.

34.13 Part-time work arrangements will be reviewed at least every 12 months.

35 Working outside the office

35.1 By agreement with the Electoral Commissioner, an Employee may make an arrangement to work from a location other than the Employee's usual place of work.

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