The Manager Guide:


Throughout this guide we describe two approaches to implementing the FFWO:

The first (“Compliant Approach”) explains the minimum needed to process a schedule change
The second (“Collaborative Approach”) meets the FFWO minimum and strengthens outcomes

All covered employers must implement FFWO. On a voluntary basis, they can choose the more inclusive and mutually beneficial approach outlined in the second track.



The timeline for requesting, reviewing, deciding on and potentially appealing decisions on requests is at the heart of the new law. Indeed, while there is broad latitude for final decisions by businesses, there is no room for violating the deadlines stipulated in the FFWO. They are:

Identifiable cost, including:
Productivity loss
Retraining or rehiring cost
Cost of transferring employees

Negative impact on ability to meet customer or client demand

Inability to organize work among other employees

Insufficient work during proposed schedule



One way to achieve this is to look at a schedule request as an opportunity to develop new ways of working that benefit both the employee and the employer. Here a few tips:

It is easy to first see what might be lost in any change. Managers can play a key role in developing a focus on the immediate and long-term gains of granting a request.

It is important to weigh the long-term costs (turnover, absenteeism, etc.) against any short-term disruptions that might occur.

Thinking of any change in isolation might make it harder to imagine. Broadening the field to the larger group or team may create new opportunities.

In these time-stressed times, a flexible work environment can make your organization a more desirable place to work – and make recruiting easier.

Making flexibility accessible to all employees, and not just those with family needs, can reduce potential divisions and deliver a broader set of gains.

It is important to avoid any tendency to respond negatively with an allowed business reason that has not been fully defined –it is the manager’s right and responsibility to decide with integrity.


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