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Government unveils plans to extend flexible working


The right to request flexible working is set to be extended to parents of children aged under 18, the Government has announced.


The Employment Minister Edward Davey said nearly 300,000 people will benefit from the change when it comes into force in April 2011.


The right to request flexible working is currently available to parents of children under 17, as well as parents of disabled children under 18 and carers of certain adults.


A consultation will be launched later this year to consider how the extension will be implemented and to examine a new system of flexible leave.


‘A family-friendly workplace is a business-friendly workplace,’ said the Equalities Minister Lynne Featherstone.


‘Companies are missing out on the skills and talents of too many people who are forced to choose between raising a family and having a job, so we will be working with businesses to change this in a way that will make life better for employers, employees and the economy.’


The Government has also confirmed that the Additional Paternity leave regulations, which came into force earlier this year and apply to parents of children due on or after 3 April 2011, will remain in force ‘as an interim measure’.