Flexible Working – Right to be Extended to Parents with Children Under 18
The Government announced plans today to make it easier for people to balance work & family life.
Employment Relations Minister, Ed Davey, announced that the Government will extend the right to request flexible working to parents of children under 18 from 2011. The right is currently available to parents of children aged 16 or under, so this change will have only a limited effect: extending the right to apply for flexible working to parents with children aged 17.
There will also be a consultation looking at “how to extend the right to request flexible working to all employees” – the coalition agreement had already committed the government to this, so this announcement actually covers nothing new.
In effect then, today’s announcement simply introduces the intention to extend the right to request flexible working to parents of children under 18 instead of under 17. Nonetheless, the TUC welcomed the announcement, its General Secretary, Brendan Barber saying:
“Extending the right to request and improving parental leave arrangements will help make Britain a more family-friendly place to work”
while the IoD described it as a mistake, spokesman Alistair Tebbit observing:
“that creating another formal employment right would add to the already excessive amount of administration businesses have to conduct to comply with regulations”.