Flexible Work Policy and Procedures


All staff members on fixed term or permanent employment agreements


The University is committed to supporting flexible work arrangements for staff members who have carer responsibilities under the provisions of Part 6AA of the Employment Relations Act 2000 , and also for staff members who require flexible work opportunities for a variety of other reasons, including further study and career development.



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
  • providing flexible employment practices and conditions which support a balance between work, life and family needs
  • accommodating the reasonable requirements of staff members’ work, life and family responsibilities, wherever practicable 

2.    Staff members are entitled to request flexible working arrangements

3.    If the request is related to carer responsibilities it may be covered by Part 6AA of The Employment Relations Act 2000.This will apply if a staff member has:

  • the care of a person (not necessarily a family member)
  • been employed with their employer for six months or more
  • not made another request under Part 6AA in the last 12 months

4.    A request under Part 6AA of The Employment Relations Amendment Act 2000 can only be declined on one or more of the following recognised business grounds, or if it conflicts with a collective agreement:

Recognised business grounds are:

  • inability to reorganise work among existing staff
  • inability to recruit additional staff
  • detrimental impact on quality
  • detrimental impact on performance
  • insufficiency of work during the period the employee proposes to work
  • planned structural changes
  • burden of additional cost
  • detrimental effect on ability to meet customer demand

5.    Under University policy (and the Employment Relations Act 2000) employees are also entitled to request flexible working arrangements for other reasons such as to engage in part-time study, career development, phased retirement or for work-life balance

6.    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)

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

8.    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

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

10.    The academic head/ manager will notify the employee of their response to the request for flexible work

11.    Staff members must be aware that once a request is approved, it cannot be changed without the agreement of the parties involved

12.    If the staff member is not satisfied with the outcome of a request they are entitled to appeal the decision. The appeal is to be made  in writing to the manager of the person who made the decision


1.    The staff member needs to clarify what their needs are and consider possible solutions

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

The University of Auckland Flexible Work Policy Application Form is available to assist in this discussion. If appropriate they may also use the application form on the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment website https://www.employment.govt.nz/assets/Uploads/tools-and-resources/publications/flexible-working-arrangement-guide.pdf

3.    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

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

5.    Requests that are not made under Part 6AA should also take business grounds into account

6.    However, if the reasons for seeking flexible work are broader than carer responsibilities there may be additional  issues  to  consider.  For  example,  if  a staff member requires flexible work arrangements in order to work part-time for another organisation, conflict of interest may need to be taken into account

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

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


The following definitions apply to this policy and procedures:

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

Document management and control

Owner: Director, Human Resources

Content manager: Associate Director, HR Advisory

Approved by: Vice-Chancellor

Date approved: 26 November 2014

Review date: 1 March 2018