Flexible working arrangements


The project investigates the impact of the direction to work from home during the COVID-19 pandemic on workers with family responsibilities and how employers responded to requests for flexibility.


Project background and aims

In 2020, as part of the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, many employees found themselves working from home. A large subset were also responsible for caring for and educating children while schools, kindergartens and child care facilities were shut intermittently throughout the year. This unusual situation heightened the work-family conflict for many workers. Women were disproportionately affected - they assumed additional caring responsibilities during the pandemic and needed flexible working arrangements to facilitate this.

The aim of this research is to generate more insight into the area of workplace flexibility and to contribute to the policy discussions and developments around the legal protections available to workers who seek flexibility.


The project will draw upon traditional doctrinal analysis of the federal, state and territory laws relating to flexibility. Empirical data about the experience of workers with family responsibilities during the COVID-19 pandemic will be collected via an online survey.