This guidance and the attached resources provide support to help all public sector agency leaders, human-resource practitioners, managers, unions and employees get the best from a flexible-by-default approach.

Part one explains the flexible-by-default approach and provides advice on taking agencies from their current state of flexible working to embedding flexible-by-default. Agencies can follow more or less of this advice depending on where they are on their flexible-by-default journey.

Part two has a series of stand-alone resources on flexible working. These include a suggested request and response process, case studies from different agencies, health and safety suggestions and tips for managers, employees and teams.

Please note that the State Services Commission will be releasing separate guidance on the provision of equipment to employees working from home.

Agencies embedding flexible-by-default will be enabled to meet one of the key milestones in the Gender Pay Gap Action Plan, that:

  • by the end of 2020 all agencies will be flexible-by-default i.e. treat all roles as flexible unless there is good reason for any role not to be (the details of the actions needed by agencies to meet this milestone are being developed)
  • flexible options are equally available to men and women and do not undermine career progression or pay.

It will also help:

  • give effect to the Gender Pay Principles (GPPs)
  • create an agile and resilient organisation, able to ensure business continuity in times of crisis
  • enhance the ability to deliver better outcomes for the public in normal and crisis times
  • create a diverse and inclusive Public Service that reflects, understands and meets the needs and aspirations of the diverse public we serve.

This guidance is a first iteration. It can be updated based on feedback and the evolving flexible working environment.

It has been developed by the Gender Pay Gap and Pay Equity Taskforce, the Gender Pay Principles Working Group and agencies piloting flexible-by-default.

Flexibility to support business continuity

Many agencies will have built considerable experience in working remotely during the response to COVID-19. This resource, however, looks at all forms of flexible working, and the full range of benefits for both employees and agencies.

This includes, but is not limited to, maintaining business continuity in an emergency. While agencies should also cover these situations in their business continuity planning, the tools and advice in this resource will be helpful as agencies consider flexible working as part of their emergency response.