A Victoria Police officer has won the right to a "flexible" four-day work week of four 10-hour shifts instead of the usual five eight-hour shifts.
The Police Association of Victoria took Detective Senior Constable Gary Emery's case to the Fair Work Commission last year after Victoria Police rejected his request.
The tribunal ruled in his favour, but the decision was appealed.
The full bench of the Fair Work Commission this month rejected the appeal, finding "there would appear to be no significant impact" on Victoria Police's business if the request were granted.
"The outcome of this case is significant in that it upholds the right of eligible members to work more flexibly around their personal circumstances," Police Association secretary Wayne Gatt said in a statement.
"This case also affirms an important principle that the Police Association can indeed contest such matters by referring them to an independent umpire if a member's request to work more flexible hours is rejected by the employer."
A Victoria Police spokeswoman said, "Victoria Police employees can apply for flexible work conditions and applications are considered on a case-by-case basis."
In his original application, the 58-year-old said he wanted to shift to the flexible working arrangement for a 12-month period to assist in his "transition to retirement".
In an email discussing the request with the employee relations team, his superior noted that "although the request could technically be accommodated, this would cause discontent from other members for obvious reasons".
Namely, he said, "not earning the COT, which is essentially based and accounted for around eight-hour shifts".
COT, or commuted overtime, is "intended to be a 'swings and roundabouts' allowance in the form of a prepayment which pays officers for regular incidences of overtime", the Fair Work Commission noted in its original decision.
"It saves everybody the bother of having to complete overtime forms, calculate overtime and pay precise payments, presumably varying week by week. It follows that the allowance will overcompensate some people, and potentially under-compensate others."
In rejecting DSC Emery's request, Victoria Police said granting longer days with the possibility of recall on a fifth day posed occupational health and safety risks associated with fatigue.
Further, it argued the request would "impose an unreasonable financial burden on Victoria Police because it would be obliged to pay both your full salary and the COT in respect of working the same hours".
"You would, in effect, be paid twice for the same work," the response said.
The Commission found, however, that while the four-day structure would to "some degree" reduce the amount of COT hours DSC Emery worked, "the impact would not likely be great and was therefore not strong enough on it own as a reasonable business ground for refusing the request".