Voluntary Flexible Work Arrangements (VFWA)

The University of Adelaide aims to ensure that staff members are able to balance their work and other (including family) commitments by supporting voluntary flexible work arrangements (VFWA). The VFWA’s that may be requested by eligible staff members at the University of Adelaide include:

  • Reduced employment fraction
  • Purchased leave arrangement
  • Compressed weeks
  • Change of work pattern.

Please refer to the interactive guide in determining which arrangement suits your situation, or refer to the below tabs for further information on these arrangements.

NOTE: Entering into a new employment contract or secondment will cease all previous oral or written voluntary flexible work arrangements.

View the interactive guide

  • Reduced employment fraction

    You may request a reduction in your employment from full-time to part-time or a reduction in part-time fraction for which you are employed.

    Requests for reduced employment fraction are commonly made for care of child or care of a family member, however other reasons will also be considered - please discuss this with your supervisor. Dependent of the sub type chosen, different limitations apply.

    Depending on the circumstances, the University may approve a part-time arrangement conditionally on the basis that on return to work, excess annual leave will be taken in the first instance (to establish the agreed part-time work pattern) until such time the leave balance is reduced to an appropriate pro-rata amount.

    For further information on eligibility please refer to the Enterprise Agreement


  • Compressed weeks

    Compressed weeks allows you to work less days per fortnight while working the same total number of hours per fortnight. The arrangement is not designed to increase or reduce the total hours worked, so there are no impacts on leave entitlements or superannuation. To be eligible, you need to currently be a professional staff member working full time (36.75) hours per week. The maximum daily hours permissible during a compressed weeks arrangement is 9.5 hours.

    Each compressed weeks arrangement is to be initiated for a trial period of up to six (6) months. If the trial is successful, a compressed weeks arrangement can be extended to 12 month periods.

    For further information on eligibility please refer to the Enterprise Agreement.

  • Purchased leave

    You may apply to purchase an additional four to eight (4-8) weeks of leave in a given year.

    The additional leave must be taken within a 12 month period in return for a pro-rata reduction in salary, at a time which is mutually convenient to you and the University If the arrangement is approved, your salary will be averaged over the year (52 weeks) to allow payment during the extra weeks of leave. Leave must be purchased and taken in one-week blocks as a minimum.

    For further information on eligibility please refer to the Enterprise Agreement.

  • Frequently asked questions

    Who can access the form? 
    All continuing and fixed-term staff. It is not available to casuals.

    Will my VFWA continue when I commence my new contract, or secondment? 
    Commencement of a new employment contract, or secondment, will cease all previously approved VFWA's.  A new online request will need to be submitted if the arrangement is to be continued.

    Why do I have to select the start date first? 
    Selecting a start date enables the system to:

    • Identify the position for which the VFWA is being requested and automatically link the request to the role. If you have more than one role within the University, it also prompts you to select the one you want to update.
    • Determine which options are relevant and show them accordingly.
    • Provide relevant smarts.

    Why can't I see all the drop-down options? 
    The system will show only those options that are relevant on the selected start date. For instance, Compressed Weeks option will only appear if you are full-time (36.75 hrs/week) on the selected start date. Likewise, Change Work Pattern option is relevant only for staff on part-time work pattern or compressed weeks as at the chosen start date.

    Additionally, the Purchased Leave option cannot be backdated and will not appear as an option if a chosen start date is before the current open pay period start date.

    Why is the form forcing me to change the start date to the first Monday of a pay fortnight?
    For Compressed Weeks and Change of Work Pattern, where the number of hours are not changing, it is important that the change in schedule starts from the start of the pay period. Otherwise, it is possible for an over- or under-payment to occur.

    For Purchased Leave, the ‘purchasing’ of the leave must start from a complete pay period.

    Why do I have to choose an Arrangement sub-type for Reduced Employment Fraction and how do I know which one to select?
    The sub-type will determine the maximum duration allowed, as per the Enterprise Agreement. If the request is not due to carer duties, but it has been agreed to in principle by your supervisor, you should select “Other”. Otherwise, select the appropriate option for carer duties.

    When I try to enter an End Date, the form is giving me an error message saying that the flexible work arrangement cannot extend beyond the end date of current arrangements (e.g., Secondment, Higher Duties or a future dated New Position). I don’t understand this?
    The VFWA request can only extend over same circumstances. For instance, if the selected Start Date falls in a period of secondment, the VFWA can only be requested up to the end date of that secondment. Same with position and contract changes, as well as periods of Higher Duties Allowances. Similarly, change of work pattern are only relevant within a period of same hours, which is why they cannot extend over hour changes.

    How do I enter hours into the schedule?
    Staff are expected to enter hours in decimal format. Attached to each eForm is a guide you can refer to in converting minutes to decimals.

    I am a Head of School (HoS) and and I have (a) initiated a VFWA form OR (b) approved a VFWA form as a supervisor, but have now received again for the HoS Approval Step. Why do I have to action it again / Should I action it?
    The VFWA workflow includes following steps: Initiator to Supervisor to HR Hub (if one exists) to HoS (for all requests except for Change of Work Pattern).

    If you are a HoS and also the supervisor of the staff member requesting a VFWA, you will receive the form twice; once to endorse as a supervisor and once to approve as a HoS – you should action it both times.

    If you initiate a VFWA request, the Executive Dean will endorse the request as a supervisor. Therefore, you can approve it, simply to progress the request.

    Where is my request sitting? What’s the status of my request?
    You are able to access requests by selecting “View a Request” option on the website.

    You will be able to see if the request has been processed (“Executed”) or still to be approved / processed (any other status). Refer to How to View Submitted VFWA Forms guide to review your VFWA requests.

    I am on a compressed weeks VFWA.  If my non-duty day falls on a public holiday, do I get a day off at another time?
    No, there is no legal obligation for the University to reimburse a staff member where their ‘non-duty day’ under a compressed weeks arrangement falls on a public holiday.

    Public holidays that fall on your scheduled work day will be paid according to the hours scheduled to work on that day.  

How to apply

You need to discuss with your supervisor your proposal to participate in a flexible work arrangement. Once agreed in principle, the Flexible Working Arrangement online form can be completed by clicking on the relevant button below.

I want to:

 Initiate a Request  View a Request  End an Arrangement