Delyn MP David Hanson has backed the Government’s decision to give an extra4.5 million parents in Britain the right to request flexible working.
Following an independent review the Government has brought forward proposals to extend the right to request flexible working to parents of children up to age 16. There will now be a consultation on implementing the proposals.
Around six million employees currently have the right to request flexible working (3.6 million parents and 2.65 million carers), but over 14 million employees, including part-time workers, actually work flexibly.
Flexible working arrangements include working from home, part-time work, compressed hours, flexi-time or other arrangements agreed with employers. These arrangements allow for people to grow their careers and remain in the workforce, and reflect the Government’s commitment to helping people to make the most of their potential.
91% of workplaces who received requests in the last year approved them all and the Government’s Third Work-Life Balance Survey of employers shows they largely have positive views about promoting work-life balance.
The review found that:
· Any change should be implemented at once, rather than a staged introduction, to avoid creating confusion for business and employees.
· Small businesses generally had a better record on accepting flexible working requests than larger ones.
· Business would benefit from increased information and guidance about dealing with flexible working requests.
· Flexible working should not be considered a ‘women’s issue’, with 14 million employees currently working flexibly, and the latest figures showing men make up 45% of this figure. The increasing earning power of women also suggests that flexible working now, and in the future, is far from being an issue that affects only women.
· More work should be done to raise awareness of the right to request flexible working, both among employees and employers.
David Hanson said:
“I very much welcome this report which will give further help to families that are looking to find the right work-life balance.
“Whilst it is important that employers retain control over deciding whether it suits their business to allow people to work flexibly, the evidence overwhelmingly suggests that where flexible working is granted businesses are rewarded with loyal, motivated and hard-working staff.”