April 6th marks the start of the extension of the right to request flexible working to parents of children under 16. Plus other news.
The right to request flexible working has been extended to parents of children under 16.
The new legislation comes into force on 6th April and means 4.5m more parents can apply for flexible working. Previously only parents of children under 6 could request the right to work flexibly.
Other measures being brought in on 6th April include automatic penalties for employers who underpay on the National Minimum Wage and the simplification of dispute resolution rules.
Employment Relations Minister Pat McFadden says: “Flexible working has been a great success. The change we are bringing in this month is about helping parents cope with work and family life. Both workers and employers have felt the benefits of flexible working since we first introduced the right to request.
“Fewer mothers change jobs when they return to work meaning greater continuity for businesses and more employees have been able to work hours which help them cope with parental responsibilities.
“Firms can still say no if they have legitimate business concerns, but more than 95% of all requests for flexible working from working parents and carers are now accepted, as employers recognise the benefits more and more.
“Parenting doesn’t end as children get older. Extending the right to request will help more parents get the flexibility they need. The business benefits of flexible working are well documented and this remains the case in tougher economic times.”
Business secretary Lord Mandelson also backed the extension, saying he was "hugely proud of the success of measures such as flexible working".
"Parents to blame" for children’s behaviour problems, claims school union head
Parents are to blame for children starting school with few social skills and bad behaviour, says the head of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers.
Mary Bousted says children are starting school without being able to use the toilet properly or dress themselves and many are not used to sitting at a table to eat. She says many parents expect teachers to do their parenting for them and blame teachers when things go wrong in their children’s lives. She adds that many children are arriving at school exhausted as they are up late watching tvs or playing on computers.
The ATL meets in Liverpool this week.