It's the Law; Business Advice from North West Employment Law Specialists ELAS

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Byline: ELAS

Q I HAVE heard that flexible working regulations are to be extended to carers. Is this correct and when is it going to come into force?

A YES, this is correct, the Flexible Working (Eligibility Complaints and Remedies) (Amendment) Regulations 2006 came in to force on April 6, 2007, extending the right to reguest flexible working to certain carers of adults.

Under the regulations, an employee may make a reguest for flexible working if he or she expects to be caring for a person who is over the age of 18 and who is either married to or the partner or civil partner of the employee, a relative of the employee or living at the same address as the employee.

There is a qualifying period of employment which will be 26 weeks continual employment.

An employee should provide an application showing in detail the proposed working arrangements. Only one application can be made during a 12-month period and on receiving an application employers should arrange a meeting to consider in detail.

Having said that, there is no need for employers to automatically agree to this request and applications can be rejected when a proposed working pattern cannot be accommodated within the needs of the business.

Such requests should only be declined where there is a recognised business ground that should be explained to the employee in writing. Equally, if the request is agreed, that too should be recorded in writing.

Employers are warned that they should not subject an employee to any unfair treatment or detriment or dismiss them for making an application under this right.

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