Flexible Working Rights for Parents to be Extended

In a move aimed at creating more flexible, family-friendly workplaces, the Government is extending the right to request flexible working to parents with children under 18 from April next year.  It is estimated that up to 300,000 more people will benefit from the move.

In addition, a consultation will be launched later this year looking at how to extend the same right to all employees and on the design of a new system of flexible parental leave.

Setting out the plans, Edward Davey, the Employment Relations Minister, said:

“We want to help parents and create a fairer, family friendly society. We will be launching a consultation later this year to make sure the law better supports real families juggling work and family life, and the businesses that employ them.

“This immediate change will give parents of all children regardless of age the same right to request flexible working. It will also make it simpler for employers and employees to identify whether they are eligible to make a request.

“The plans we’ll unveil later this year are much more ambitious but these interim measures will help us learn valuable lessons and are an important first step.”

Currently the right to request flexible working is available to parents of children aged under 17, parents of disabled children under 18 and carers of certain adults.  Individuals must be continuously employed by the same employer for more than 26 weeks before a request for flexible working can be made.

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