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Flexible Working

Volume 464: debated on Tuesday 9 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what plans he has to introduce a duty on employers to provide flexible working arrangements. (154311)

The Government encourage all types of flexible working across the workforce by providing detailed guidance, promoting the benefits and encouraging the sharing of best practice. We introduced the right to request flexible working, for parents of young and disabled children in April 2003. In April 2007 we extended this right to carers of adults. Over six million employees now have the statutory right to ask to work flexibly.

There is no evidence to suggest that we should place a duty on employers to provide flexible working arrangements. The right to request flexible working has been a huge success with four out of five requests accepted by employers. 87 per cent. of all employees are satisfied with their current working patterns and 90 per cent. of employees said that at least one flexible working arrangement was available to them if they needed it. We will continue to monitor the impact of the flexible working law.