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Cpl Max Bree
COMING to a flexible working
arrangement shouldn’t have a nega-
tive effect on a soldier’s professional
prospects, according to the head of
Army’s career management agency.
Management – Army Brig Wade
Stothart said the belief soldiers
needed to serve full-time to advance
their careers was outdated.
“I think our assessments for pro-
motion are being dissociated with
the amount of time you spend at
work,” he said.
“You can progress, have a career
commensurate with your potential
and work flexibly.
“It’s not about how much time
people spend at work, it’s about
what they achieved while there.”
To date the only options avail-
able to provide soldiers with some
flexibility is the career management
agency approving applications for
part-time leave without pay and the
local command approving flexible
“That could be something like a
soldier finishing at 3pm for a couple
of weeks because their partner is
away and they need to pick the kids
up,” Brig Stothart said.
“The CO can agree to someone
altering a soldier’s standard hours of
work as long as they do a full-time
With the new ADF Total Workforce
Model, soldiers can apply to work a
number of days per fortnight, weeks
per month or months per year.
This provides greater flexibility
than part-time leave without pay.
Brig Stothart said COs would still
need to provide a recommendation
for the career management agency
to approve flexible service and the
agency’s flexible work arrangements
cell would try to assist units where
“We’d be looking at COs to
establish working routines that ena-
ble flexibility,” Brig Stothart said.
“There may be some jobs that
are easier than others to serve flex-
ibly. But there’s no reason people in
those roles can’t work in a flexible
arrangement for periods of time.
“It comes down to a relationship
between you and your supervisor
and how they are willing to accept
Despite the agency’s efforts, Brig
Stothart said some roles would not
as easily suit flexible arrangements.
“There will be times in your career
where the ability to be flexible is very
difficult,” he said.
“If you’re coming up to a bush
trip, you might need to command
your section or you’re in a sig det
that needs four people to work. But
you’re not in those appointments
Brig Stothart said there was no
intention to allocate units extra posi-
tions for flexible service but other
“If someone’s working three days
a week and another at the unit is
working two, they can go into the
one position,” he said.
“That might free-up another posi-
tion for someone to be posted in to
maintain unit capability.”
Brig Stothart said keeping people
serving longer was the intent of flex-
ible service arrangements.
“We know we’ll be more capable
as an Army if keep our experienced
people longer,” he said.
“Weighing their needs here and
now and keeping people over the
long-term is the balance to strike.”
Cpl Max Bree
TRANSFERING from the
regular Army to the reserves
and back again will be stream-
lined under a new workforce
model implemented by Army on
The ADF Total Workforce Model
should make it easier for soldiers
to move between different types of
service to suit their circumstances.
Management – Army Brig Wade
Stothart said the model would bet-
ter take account of modern demands
and the way people wanted to serve.
“We now have the ability to let
people serve in the way they want at
their career stage or life stage, with
more flexibility,” he said.
Existing service types are being
replaced with a new spectrum of ser-
vice categories (SERCATs) and ser-
vice options (SERVOPs).
The model spans inactive reserve
(SERCAT 2), through to catego-
ries other than full-time service
(SERCAT 6) and full-time service
“We now have a set description
for the different types of service we
can accommodate,” Brig Stothart
“Soldiers can look at that and
say ‘I wouldn’t mind studying, if I
can gain entry into a course for two
years and keep my job’.
“Or ‘can I be the primary
carer of a child and invest in some
years where I need to support my
Brig Stothart said they would
aim to simplify processes for
transferring between categories of
“That might be part of a learning
curve we go through to make it sim-
pler. At the very least the forms will
be triservice and applicable to both
officers and other ranks for trans-
fer within the service spectrum,” he
The new ADF Super would bet-
ter enable flexible service arrange-
ments, according to Brig Stothart.
In addition to serving days per
fortnight, the model also provides
the option to apply to serve a num-
ber of weeks to work in a monthly
cycle or a number of months within
Brig Stothart said many applica-
tions under the model would rest on
a CO’s recommendation.
“There will be COs who quite
rightly recommend ‘no’ to some of
these applications, but the option
is there and we’ll try to support the
COs so they can say ‘yes’ as much
as possible,” he said.
“But aircraft need to fly, vehi-
cles need to run and units need to be
ready to deploy.”
Having arrangements in place to
support changes in soldiers’ lives
should enable them to serve longer,
according to Brig Stothart.
“We know we’ve lost high qual-
ity people who had much to give the
Army,” he said.
“That’s because we weren’t able
to accommodate, as completely
as we’d like, changes in their life
For more information on Army’s implemen-
tation of the ADF Total Workforce Model,
visit the ADF TWM webpage at http://drnet.
letters from readers.
To increase the
likelihood of having
a letter published,
Preference is given
to letters under 250
Letters may be
edited for space
Letters must include
author’s name, unit,
Letters might be
rejected if they are
too long, abusive or
can be answered
by the author’s unit.
August 11, 2016
Modern demands are changing the nature of service
Cpl Mark Blondell,
of 10/27RSAR with
his daughter at the
open day last year.
Soldiers like Cpl
Blondell have more
flexible work options
under the ADF Total
Photo by Tracy Tillman
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