Regulations Extending Right to Request Flexible Working Published

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The Government has published Regulations that extend the right to request flexible working to parents of children under 18 from 6 April 2011. The right to request flexible working is currently available to employees who are parents of children under 17, or 18 if the child is disabled, and employees with caring responsibilities for dependant adults. Under flexible working legislation, an eligible employee has the right to request to change his or her working conditions by amending the number of hours or times that he or she works or his or her place of work. An employer can refuse an application only if the refusal is based on one or more specified business grounds. Employees with children under 18 who wish to make a request to work flexibly will be required to follow the same procedure that employees with children under 17, or with caring responsibilities for dependant adults, are required to follow. Similarly, the procedure that employers must follow on receipt of a request will mirror the procedure that applies to requests from employees with children under 17 or who care for dependant adults. The extension of the right to request flexible working to parents of children under 18 is the first scheduled change to flexible working next year. The Government has announced that it intends to extend the right to request flexible working to all employees, and a consultation is expected in the New Year.

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