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The second of the National Employment Standards (NES) provides that if you employ a parent who has responsibility for the care of a child under school age, or under 18 and has a disability, the parent may request a change in working arrangements to assist the parent to care for the child.

Who may make such a request?

Only a parent who has completed at least 12 months continuous service with you is entitled to make the request. The request must be in writing.

What must you do if you receive such a request?

You must respond in writing within 21 days of receiving the request.

Your response must state whether you grant or refuse the request. If you refuse the request, you must set out the reason for doing so.

Reasonable business grounds

You may refuse the request only on reasonable business grounds.

Reasonable business grounds include;

  1. that the new working arrangements requested by the employee would be too costly for the employer;
  2. that there is no capacity to change the working arrangements of other employees to accommodate the new working arrangements requested by the employee;
  3. that it would be impractical to change the working arrangements of other employees, or recruit new employees, to accommodate the new working arrangements requested by the employee;
  4. that the new working arrangements requested by the employee would be likely to result in a significant loss in efficiency or productivity;
  5. that the new working arrangements requested by the employee would be likely to have a significant negative impact on customer service.

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