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Greens push for flexible working arrangements, better work/life balance

Employees could have greater control over their work hours and location if a new bill from the Greens is passed, as the party works toward helping Australians improve their work/life balance.

The bill, which will be introduced today, aims to give people more control over their time and working arrangements, depending on an employer’s legitimate operational needs.

The Fair Work Amendment (Better Work/Life Balance) Bill 2012 will give people who’ve been in their job for 12 months or more the right to request flexible working arrangements. It will also give carers immediate access to these rights, unless an employer can prove serious countervailing business reasons.

According to Greens MP Adam Bandt, if people wish to work from home or work different hours, the law should allow it if the employer isn’t negatively affected.

“Allowing workers more flexible hours will be a productivity bonus for the economy. Business will benefit from this reform and good employers are already promoting work/life balance. Satisfied employees are likely to remain in a workplace longer, be healthier and more productive,” he said.

Bandt said parents and carers should be better able to control their time, as “caring for those close to us must be a central concern for our society and is important to the economy.”

The bill also gives Fair Work Australia the ability to hear and determine any disputes if an employer refuses a request.

What will this bill mean for your business? Do you think it’s a good, or a bad idea?

Lorna Bretthttp://www.dynamicbusiness.com.au
Lorna was Dynamic Business’ Social Web Editor in 2011/12. She’s a social media obsessed journalist, who has a passion for small business. Outside the 9 to 5, you’re likely to find her trawling the web for online bargains, perfecting her amateur photography skills or enjoying one too many cappucinos. You can follow her on Twitter @DynamicBusiness