BUSINESS, ENTERPRISE AND REGULATORY REFORM News Release (2008/181)
issued by The Government News Network on 26 August 2008
will explore ways to make dealing with flexible working requests
easier for businesses, as part of a consultation published today
(Tuesday 26th August).
The consultation follows on from the Government's
announcement that it would extend the right to request flexible
working to parents with children who are 16 and under.
Employment Relations Minister, Pat McFadden, said the
consultation would seek views from business and suggest ways to
reduce paperwork involved with flexible working requests.
"The right to request flexible working has worked well
because it helps employees to balance their home and work lives,
but at the same time gives employers the right to say no where
there are legitimate business concerns.
"Parenting requirements don't end as children get
older. We think it is right to extend this successful scheme and
help parents of older children access the flexibility they need."
The consultation will also consider ways to raise awareness of
the right to request flexible working among employees and to boost
knowledge of the range of free tools available to make dealing
with requests quicker and simpler for businesses.
BusinessLink.gov.uk has online forms that employers can use to
deal with flexible working requests. It also provides guidance
which can help save time, money and stress and avoid businesses
paying for professional external advice.
The consultation will also consider whether to scrap the
requirement that employers write formally to staff to advise their
request has been accepted.
The Government will soon launch an awareness raising campaign to
target groups with low knowledge or who are unaware of their right
to request flexible working, like fathers and carers, in addition
to raising awareness for businesses about how to make dealing with
The consultation will involve all interested stakeholders,
including employer and employee representatives, parents, unions,
business and family organisations.
Notes to editors
1. Access the consultation document at http://www.berr.gov.uk/files/file47434.pdf
2. Access the Walsh Review of the Right to Request Flexible
Working at http://www.berr.gov.uk/files/file46092.pdf
3. Access forms to make flexible working requests simpler and
4. The Department for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform
helps UK business succeed in an increasingly competitive world.
It promotes business growth and a strong enterprise economy, leads
the better regulation agenda and champions free and fair markets.
It is the shareholder in a number of Government-owned assets and
it works to secure, clean and competitively priced energy supplies
Department for Business, Enterprise & Regulatory
7th Floor, 1 Victoria Street, London SW1H 0ET
Public enquiries +44 (0)20 7215 5000
Textphone +44 (0)20 7215
6740 (for those with hearing impairment)