Flexible Working Hours Arrangement FAQs and Settlement Period Survey - Public Service Association

Flexible Working Hours Arrangement FAQs and Settlement Period Survey

Flexible Working Hours Arrangement FAQs and Settlement Period Survey – 17 October 2016 (PDF Version)


The PSA recently conducted a survey across all members affected by the proposed new Justice Flexible Working Hours Agreement. We received 1671 responses back and the following FAQs are in response to the feedback received.

This survey assisted the PSA in finalising our log of claims which is still being considered by the Department as part of the ongoing negotiations with the PSA. Click HERE for a copy of the PSA log of Claims.

In addition, we need to obtain further supporting evidence from members with our claim for a 12-week settlement period. To assist us with this, we have a short survey of seven questions which will take approximately five minutes to complete.

To participate in the survey please click HERE

Frequently asked questions

Q1       What difference will a 12-week settlement period make?

12-week settlement period allows a staff member more time to manage and take their flex leave. It also means you can accrue up to six flex days per period to carry over into the next.

Q2       Will my banked hours convert under the new agreement?

The PSA has requested a one-year transition period to allow members with banked hours to reduce them in accordance with any new agreement. The PSA opposes the forfeiture of any hours during the transition period

Q3       What are floating hours?

Floating core hours are for field staff and are described as “a floating period of any six-hour period (consecutive hours) within the bandwidth subject to operational needs. The PSA is demanding any floating hours are by consent with the employee.

Q4       Under the PSA proposal how many flex days can be taken in a flex period?

12-week settlement period would allow for up to six flex days to be taken in any one period (an average of one flex day per fortnight).

Q5       Under the PSA proposal, can I have a quarter-day flex?

Yes, you will be able to have a quarter-day flex

Q6       Will I lose banked leave?

The NSW Government does not want banked leave to be part of any future flex agreements and have included this in their bargaining parameters. Regardless, the PSA has added that banked leave should remain in the Flexible Working Hours Agreement.

Q7       Will the new agreement be limited by SAP capabilities?

SAP can be programmed to deal with any changes in the flex agreement.

Q8       Will office staff be expected to be in the office until the end of the bandwidth?

No they will not. Office staff are expected to be in the office for core hours.  If a staff member is requested to work greater than seven hours, the PSA has asked they be paid overtime.

Q9       Can I work full-time hours over four days?

There may be the opportunity for a “compressed hour’s arrangement” to be individually negotiated if it suits the operational requirements of the role. However, full-time is measured in hours per week over five days.

Q10     Has the new Flexible Working Hours Agreement been implemented?

No. Consultation will continue between the PSA and the Department until 30 November. Implementation cannot occur until both parties agree and staff have been given advance notice of the new agreement and any changes it contains.

Q11     Will I get to vote on accepting the new agreement?

Yes, in line with the PSA’s commitment to member engagement, your union will be seeking member’s endorsement prior to finalising any agreement with the Department.

Q12     Can the Department tell me to take my flex leave in quarter, half or full days?

No, when and how flex leave is taken is a matter of consultation between the staff member and the manager.

Q13     What is carry-over flex time?

This is the number of hours that can be “carried over” into the next flex period. The PSA is seeking a carry-over of 42 hours.

Q14     Do I need permission to leave work after seven hours?

Permission is not required to leave after seven hours of work

Q15     Why are my conditions being ended?

Either party to an agreement can at any time with the appropriate notice terminate said agreement. The Justice Department notified the PSA in September 2015 of its intention to reduce 11 flexible working hours agreements down into one.

The PSA is standing up for members’ conditions. We have organised a team of very experienced delegates who are playing an integral role in the negotiation process to ensure conditions of employment are not lost. Some of the flex agreement conditions may change but the PSA and delegates are fighting to ensure conditions are not reduced and the arrangement is as flexible as possible.

Q16        What if I need to leave before the end of Core Hours, for example, if I have to pick up my children?

The PSA is very conscious of members who have various family responsibilities. Bearing this in mind the PSA has included a Core Time between the hours of 10am and 2pm.

Q17     How will the Department ensure the safety of staff if the Bandwidth is extended until 10pm?

It is incumbent on the Department to ensure the safety of all staff when extending the Bandwidth of working hours. The PSA encourages staff to use the existing WHS incident system to report concern and events that may have occurred and to not work on their own after hours. If these concerns are not resolved by management members are encouraged to ring the Members Service centre, MSC, on 1300 772 679 to seek assistance from the PSA.

Q18     Can banked Flex leave be used for the Christmas shutdown period?

The Department of Justice is attempting to remove all Banked Leave from the Flexible Working Hours Agreement. The PSA however has included the ability to bank up to five flex days in our log of claims. The usual policy for Christmas shutdown applies and is a matter of consultation between staff and their manager.

Q19.    Will the new Flex Agreement alter any other conditions such as travel time?

No, the new agreement only covers working hours and how staff will be able to accumulate and take extra hours worked.

Q20     How can members provide feedback on the new agreement?

The PSA email address is

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