Are you or your employees in the dark about their work arrangements? Maybe it’s time to shed light on this. Formalising flexible working arrangements could help protect both employees and managers when it comes to drawing a line in the sand between bullying and harassment and reasonable management action.
A recent case brought against the South Australian Department of Health and Aging is a good example. In this case the court ruled that repeated requests to review flexible working arrangements given to an employee, after her father experienced a fall, did not amount to bullying and harassment and were reasonable under the circumstances.
The court also ruled that by allowing the employee’s flexible arrangements to continue unmonitored for three years, they had inadvertently led the employee to feel that her later start time was a right rather than a privilege. When efforts were made to amend the arrangements, she viewed them as bullying.
When making flexible working arrangements, the court recommended documenting the agreements in a formal way and ensuring follow-up times are set, to review how the arrangements are working for both the employer and the employee.
Spyrou V The State of South Australia (the Department of Health and Aging) 2013 SAEOT 11 (6 November 2013)