Flexible working rights go to extra 4.5 million
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Issued Date: 26 Mar 2009
More than 10 million people will have the right to request
flexible working from April 6th and government support is helping
businesses get ready for the change.
Six million parents and carers already have the right to
request flexible working from their employers, with another 4.5 million
now gaining the right with its extension to parents of children aged 16
Employment Relations Minister Pat McFadden said:
"This is about balancing work and family life. Both workers
and employers have felt the benefits of flexible working since we first
introduced the right to request.
"Fewer mothers change jobs when they return to work meaning
greater continuity for businesses and more employees have been able to
work hours which help them cope with parental responsibilities.
"Firms can still say no if they have legitimate business
concerns, but more than 95% of all requests for flexible working from
working parents and carers are now accepted, as employers recognise the
benefits more and more.
"Parenting doesn't end as children get older. Extending the
right to request will help more parents get the flexibility they need.
The business benefits of flexible working are well documented and this
remains the case in tougher economic times."
All carers and parents of children aged up to six, or children
with disabilities aged up to 18, already have the right to request
An independent review by Imelda Walsh last year recommended
that the right to request should be extended to parents of children
aged up to 16.
Flexible working embraces a wide variety of working practices,
including compressed hours, working from home, or any pattern of hours
other than the standard one in an organisation.
Benefits of flexible working to business include increased
productivity and recruitment savings.
The government is boosting the free guidance and tools
available to help businesses deal with flexible working requests.
Websites Business Link and Direct.gov give firms and
individuals all the information they need to comply with the law,
including online forms to deal with requests - helping save time and
In the run-up to April 6th the government is also contacting
businesses to make sure they know where to find the free help available
and do not need to pay for external advice.
1. The government's response to the public consultation on
flexible working is online at http://www.berr.gov.u
2. Latest statistics show that the culture of flexible working
is growing across UK businesses:
* 93% of employers now offer at least one flexible working
* 95% of all requests from working parents are agreed
* 96% of all requests from carers are agreed
* Small businesses are most likely to accept requests
3. Essential free guidance for businesses and individuals is
4. The right to request flexible working was introduced in
2003 for parents of children aged up to six and disabled children aged
up to 18. It was extended to carers of adults in 2007.
About the Author
© Crown Copyright. Material taken
from the BERR- Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory
Reform replacing DTI - Department for Trade and Industry. Reproduced
under the terms and conditions of the Click-Use Licence.
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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2009-03-27 12:48:13 in Employee Articles