Recommendation 31: Implementing and tailoring the Think Flex First Framework
Ambulance Victoria should:
- review, update and fully implement its Think Flex First Framework, including updating all relevant policies, procedures, systems, guidance material and training to ensure flexibility becomes embedded in the culture of the organisation
- enhance the role of those working in the People and Culture division in the process and procedure for applying for a flexible working agreement by including them as subject matter experts in discussions between managers and employees (at the request of either party) to support more creative and viable flexibility options and review all refusals to ensure legal compliance
- adopt the VPS ‘all roles flex’ approach for corporate staff and include this approach in its forthcoming Gender Equality Action Plan as part of its compliance with the Gender Equality Act 2020 (Vic). Adopting an ‘all roles flex’ approach includes reviewing and amending flexible working arrangement processes and procedures for those staff so they:
- encourage informal flexibility and distinguish it from a formal flexible working agreement
- provide practical guidance on how to use existing and new technology to collaborate and communicate virtually
- centre flexibility discussions around workers’ productivity, impact and outputs, instead of when and where work is conducted
- continue to identify options to increase flexibility for all staff members by supporting teams (in both operational and corporate settings) to trial localised strategies, test them with simple evaluation tools and share successes, particularly during enterprise bargaining
- ensure the new centralised, dedicated division established to drive and coordinate implementation of the Commission’s recommendations (see Recommendation 11) has the resourcing and capability to support and monitor the implementation of Recommendation 31(a) –(d), including reporting to the Executive and Board
- as a priority, seek from the Victorian Government the funding required to support the implementation of greater workplace flexibility across the organisation, including funding for necessary staff in core teams (including People and Culture and the new Division), followed by funding for other necessary resources required to accommodate a more flexible workforce.
What we are doing
- Adopt the Victorian Public Sector ‘all roles flex’ approach for corporate staff and include this approach in Ambulance Victoria’s forthcoming Gender Equality Action Plan
- Support local trials to promote flexibility, including through people-based rostering
- Determine funding arrangements to support increased resourcing in the People Services Division to enable them to provide greater support around flexible working arrangements
- Determine funding arrangements to support a more flexible operating model across the organisation
Where we are up to
- AV has started initial scoping work to identify opportunities to improve workplace flexibility. This has included work to map and document how each region approaches flexible work and analyse current challenges and possible short-term opportunities to support flexible work.
- AV will start work to implement and tailor the Think Flex First Framework once key staff are recruited.
- AV’s Gender Equality Action Plan includes actions related to flexible work, in line with Recommendations 30-33 made by the Victorian Equal Opportunity & Human Rights Commission.