The Advantages of Flexible Working Arrangements

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Date Submitted: 08/31/2011 09:11 PM

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This report will be discussing the advantages to both employers and employees of flexible working arrangements. Other important factors that will be discussed in conjunction with flexible working arrangements include anti-discrimination, ethical principles, applicable codes of practice, privacy laws and the importance of occupational health and safety.

Over the last 15-20 years flexible working arrangements started to be introduced into the workplace (Davies, 1997). Through the research that has been gathered, flexible working arrangements have primarily been aimed at women; either those with young children at home or of school age and women who are wanting to return to work post maternity leave.

The research suggests that the main advantage to employees is to have a more family friendly work/home balance (Victorian Government, 2010; Queensland Government, 2007; Davies 1997). The employee also receives the benefits of a permanent job such as accruing annual leave and sick leave. Victorian and Queensland Government publications have provided statistics that employee turnover has decreased by 15% and employee absenteeism – due possibly to sickness or family needs – has also decreased by 16%. Such figures benefit employers financially – not having to source relief staff – by increasing work place morale, and by having an increased stability in the workforce.

Suggestions have been made by both the Victorian and Queensland Governments (2010; 2007), that allowing employees to negotiate flexible working arrangements, employers are able to retain the ‘best’ employees in their organisation.

Is this an ethical practice? Although the research shows that the main target group is women, there is no information or figures provided, in the available information, regarding the uptake of men participating in flexible working arrangements. This makes it difficult to judge if this situation is ethically just, equal or fair without further information in this area....