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Individual flexibility agreements

Last updated June 2018

This chapter explains what individual flexibility agreements are for employees under modern awards or enterprise agreements, and the requirements for an IFA to be lawful.

What is an individual flexibility agreement?

Definition: Individual Flexibility Agreement

An individual flexibility agreement is an agreement that allows individual employees covered by a modern award or enterprise agreement to agree to variations to the terms of that award or agreement.

There are two main types of IFA:

  • award-based IFAs; and
  • agreement-based IFAs.

In the 3 years ending 30 June 2015:

  • nearly 14% of employers had made an IFA;
  • of employers that had made an IFA, about three-quarters indicated that they had made an award-based IFA and the rest an agreement-based IFA;
  • employers that had made IFAs were more likely to be large employers (with 200 or more employees) and from the public sector; and
  • the three industries with the highest proportions of employers that had made IFAs were:
  • public administration and safety;
  • health care and social assistance; and
  • financial and insurance services.
Important: Flexible work arrangements can also be requested by employee’s who are not covered by a modern award or enterprise agreement as well. However, this chapter specifically addresses requests to vary the terms in an award or agreement.