Flexible Work Policy and Procedures


All staff members on fixed term or permanent employment agreements.


To detail the University’s policy and procedures in relation to flexible work arrangements for staff members who require flexible work opportunities whether applied for as a flexible working request under this policy or pursuant to the provisions of Part 6AA of the Employment Relations Act 2000.


Flexible Working Request

1. The University is committed to enhancing recruitment and retention, providing an excellent working environment, and increasing staff member engagement and productivity through supporting a balance between work, family and personal life.

2. Staff members may request flexible working arrangements for reasons such as to engage in part-time study, career development, phased retirement or for work-life balance.

3. The request may entail an alteration to a current job description, or a more minor or temporary variation within usual hours of employment (such as over school holidays).

Approvals and Outcomes

4. The academic head/ manager is to consider carefully each request for flexible work arrangements on its own merits and endeavour to accommodate needs.

5. Minor and temporary requests may be approved by a supervisor but more significant alterations may require approval of the academic head/ manager and dean/ director.

6. Managers are to consult with HR if they intend to decline an application.

7. The academic head/ manager is to notify the staff member of their response to the request for flexible work.

8. Staff members must be aware that once a request is approved, it cannot be changed without mutual agreement.

9. If the staff member is not satisfied with the outcome of a request they are entitled to appeal the decision.

10. The appeal is to be made in writing to the manager of the person who made the decision.

Requests made under Part 6AA of the Employment Relations Act 2000

Note - Staff members are entitled to request flexible working arrangements under Part 6AA of the Employment Relations Act 2000.

11. In this case your request must include the information outlined Employment Relations Act 69AAC.

12. If a request is made under Part 6AA, it must be dealt with as soon as possible, but not later than one month after having received the request.

13. The request may be refused only if the request cannot be accommodated on certain grounds as covered by the Act.

14. If an application is declined under the Part 6AA of the Employment Relations Act 2000 then to decline that application, managers need to follow the steps outlined in Part 69AAE.

15. Managers are to consult with HR before they decline an application.

16. If you are not satisfied with the outcome, then a labour inspector may review your case, before proceeding to mediation.

Note - The process for this, including timeframes and limitations are set out in the Employment Relations Act 69AAH.


17. Staff members are responsible for clarifying their needs and considering possible solutions.

Note: Staff members are encouraged to engage in discussions with their line manager at an early stage.

18. Requests are to be made in writing, including an outline of the variation to the working arrangements sought and the duration of variation (whether fixed term or permanent).

19. The staff member and their academic head/ manager may wish to consult with other people such as:

  • Human Resources (HR) department
  • Director Staff Equity
  • other staff who have made changes in their work arrangements
  • other managers who have had relevant experience in accommodating flexible work arrangements colleagues who may be affected

20. The staff member may need to check the likely impact of changes on matters such as superannuation and long service leave entitlements.

21. All requests and review of requests must take due consideration of business needs.

22. If a staff member requires flexible work arrangements in order to work part-time for another organisation, any conflict of interest may need to be taken into account.

23. If a request for flexible work is declined alternative arrangements may be suggested.

Note - These could include re-submitting the application at a later date when it could be accommodated more easily.


The following definitions apply to this document:

Academic head covers heads of departments, schools and other teaching and research units at Level 3 in the University Organisation Structure.

Staff member refers to an individual employed by the University on a full time or part time basis.

Flexible work arrangements include, but are not limited to:

  • part-time work
  • changes to hours of work
  • leave without pay
  • partial retirement
  • reduced responsibilities
  • working from other places
  • job sharing

University means the University of Auckland and includes all subsidiaries.

Key relevant documents

Document management and control

Owner: Director, Human Resources
Content manager: Associate Director, HR Advisory
Approved by: Vice-Chancellor
Date approved: 16 May 2018
Review date: 16 May 2023