Launch Of Guide To Flexible Work Arrangements

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25th October 2010, 04:42pm - Views: 1007


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Monday October 25, 2010




Law firm partners and managers employing lawyers with flexible working arrangements

now have a guide showing them how to make it work.

‘Do you Manage?’, produced by Victorian Women Lawyers [VWL], will be launched on

Monday, October 25, at 5.45pm at the Law Institute of Victoria, 470 Bourke Street,

Melbourne, by Sex Discrimination Commissioner, Elizabeth Broderick. 

“It is very clear that flexible work practices are of significant importance within the legal

workplace. This guide will provide assistance in implementing arrangements that work for

all those involved; the lawyer, the partner and the firm. I encourage all partners to embrace

the assistance provided in this guide,” says Astrid Haban-Beer, Convenor of the VWL.

VWL consulted 10 major law firms at a series of workshops to identify the issues it needed

to address in the guide.

It found law firms were willing to provide flexible work options but that there were many

challenges which arose largely from a failure to anticipate and provide for the day to day

detail of these arrangements.

Challenges included: managing days, hours or work type; managing work overflow; 

managing the impact on the team; and managing reward and career aspirations.

Critical factors for a successful flexible work arrangement, according to the VWL research,

included; clarity of the terms of the arrangement; appreciation of the value of the

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October 25, 2010

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arrangement; support and involvement of the team; issues being openly and promptly


“It was clear the more successful arrangements were based on a clear understanding of the

arrangement and detailed discussions, involving the whole team, of the day to day issues,”

says Ms Haban-Beer.

VWL has also produced two practical tools – the Flexible Work Proposal/Business Case

and the Individual Work Plan - to assist partners in any practice or firm, large or small, with

planning, discussing and working out the details of a flexible work arrangement.

“The success of these arrangements will depend on proper consideration of the issues and

good communication between the partner and the lawyer. This needs to start when the

arrangement is first considered and continue throughout the life of that arrangement. These

tools will help facilitate the conversations that are an important part of that

communication,” says Ms Haban-Beer.

For further information and copies of ‘Do You Manage’ contact: VWL Convenor Astrid

Haban-Beer on 03 9242 1304.

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