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Employment Act

Volume 403: debated on Tuesday 8 April 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what plans she has to monitor and review section 47 of the Employment Act 2002 on flexible working arrangements for employees with family responsibilities. [107223]

The Government will start to review the impact of the new law relating to flexible working for eligible parents, three years after its introduction on 6 April 2003.To ensure that we have a sound evidence base for this review, we have recently carried out two extensive baseline surveys of employers and employees. The results are currently being analysed and the detailed findings will be published in the summer of 2003. Provisional executive summaries of the headline results are available on the DTI website www.dti.gov.uk/ workingparents. We plan to repeat these surveys in 2006 so that we can directly assess the changes in the availability of flexible working provisions.In addition to this research, we intend to repeat the Workplace Employment Relations Survey (WERS), which was last carried out in 1998. We expect headline findings to be available in 2005 with full publication in 2006. This will provide a comprehensive overview of workplace practices before and after the new working parents legislation. We will also be involving our key stakeholders in the monitoring process, receiving ongoing feedback and building their experiences into our assessment of the new law.