Alternative work arrangements

Published 27 March 2020 | Updated 7 February 2023

Many employees' work arrangements have changed because of the impacts of coronavirus. These changes include more people working from home as well as changes to rosters, hours of work or duties.

We encourage employees and employers to work together to find the best solution for both their workplaces and staff.

Working from home

How to make working from home arrangements

Working from home arrangements are usually agreed between an employer and employee to meet both their needs. Employers and employees should work together to find the best solution for both the workplace and staff when managing the impacts of coronavirus.

Employees have the right to request flexible work arrangements in certain circumstances. A flexible work arrangement can include the employee working from home. For more information see Flexible working arrangements.

Employers who want their employees to work from home should check if there are any rules about employees working from home in their:

  • enterprise agreement
  • award
  • employment contracts
  • workplace policies.

Employers and employees should also check any current enforceable government directions that affect whether employees can work at the workplace or other locations. For more information, see Orders and directions during coronavirus.

Workplace health and safety at home

Employers should consider whether an employee’s home is suitable for the type of work they’ll be doing. Workplace health and safety laws still apply when an employee is working from home.

For more information see Safe Work Australia  Working from home.

Recording hours of work at home

Employers need to make and keep certain records, including an employee’s hours of work in some circumstances. This continues to apply when employees work from home. Employers should consider how employees will record their hours in a way that meets the employer's record-keeping obligations.

Employees need to record their hours of work in some circumstances, for example, annual wage arrangements under some awards. This continues to apply when they work from home. Employers and employees are encouraged to discuss how this should happen.

More information:

When working from home isn't possible

For some workplaces, working from home arrangements aren’t possible. When employees need to attend the workplace to work, it’s important that employers consider their workplace health and safety obligations during coronavirus.

Find out more at Health and safety in the workplace.

Employees who may be experiencing family and domestic violence

For some employees, working from home may not be a safe option because they may be experiencing family and domestic violence. There may be other arrangements the employer and employee can make in these situations.

All employees are entitled to family and domestic violence leave. This includes part-time and casual employees. Learn more at Family and domestic violence leave.

1800RESPECT is the national domestic, family and sexual violence counselling, information and support service. If you or someone you know is experiencing, or at risk of experiencing, domestic, family or sexual violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit

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Resources for flexible working arrangements

As long as employees still receive their entitlements, employers and employees can negotiate ways to make their work arrangements more flexible.

Flexibility in the workplace allows employers and employees to make arrangements about working conditions that suit them. This can help both employers and employees manage the impacts of coronavirus. It can also help employers improve their business’s productivity.

We have information and resources to help you:

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