Flexible working will not be extended to parents of children aged 17
The Government has announced that it will not extend the right to request flexible working to parents of children aged 17 on 6 April 2011.
The Government introduced the Flexible Working (Eligibility, Complaints and Remedies) (Amendment) Regulations 2010 (SI 2010/2991) in December 2010, to extend the right to request flexible working to parents of all children under the age of 18 on 6 April 2011. On 18 March 2011, Mark Prisk, minister of state for Business and Enterprise, announced that the Regulations will be repealed. He also announced a moratorium to exempt employers with fewer than 10 employees from new domestic regulations for three years and confirmed that the right to make a request in relation to study or training will not be extended to employees in organisations with fewer than 250 employees.
The right to request flexible working for parents of children under the age of 17, or 18 if the child is disabled, will remain unamended in April 2011. Under flexible working legislation, an eligible employee has the right to request to change his or her terms and conditions by amending the number of hours or the times that he or she works or his or her place of work. The employer can refuse the application only if the refusal is based on one or more specified business grounds.
The Government had previously announced a proposal to extend the right to request flexible working to all employees, and a consultation on this is expected shortly. It has stated that the reason for the repeal of the Regulations extending flexible working to parents of children aged 17 is that small businesses "don’t like frequent incremental changes to employment law".
- Government will not extend flexible working in April 2011 Read the announcement on the News Distribution Service website
Legal timetable Read summaries of forthcoming legislation and open consultations.
The XpertHR Line manager briefing on handling requests for flexible working is a guide specifically for line managers on the law and best practice on the right to request flexible working.
Flexible working survey 2010: take-up and employee requests In this second part of the 2010 flexible working report, XpertHR finds that the number of employee requests to work flexibly is on the increase. Most employers consider requests to work flexibly from all employees, and informal arrangements are now the norm.
Good practice: flexible working This section of the XpertHR good practice manual discusses the importance of flexible working, the issues involved in drawing up an organisational policy, and the main types of flexible working.