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Employers to benefit from changes in flexible working rights

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg is expected to announce this week the extension of the right to request flexible working hours to all employees.

The Right to Request scheme, which currently only applies to those with children under 17, relatives and some carers, would allow everyone to ask their employer for flexible hours if they wish to help others with childcare, and employers would be forced to consider all requests ‘in a reasonable way’.
Chief Executive at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), Peter Cheese, has said that the Government’s decision to extend the right to request flexible working to all employees is a welcome recognition of a changing world of work that will benefit employers and employees alike.
Peter Cheese said:
“We welcome the extension of the right to request flexible working to all employees. The Government consulted widely on these proposals, and we were one of a great many organisations and businesses to respond positively.  A shift in attitudes to flexible working is a natural reflection of the changing nature of work and the workforce. More flexibility extends the ability of employers to attract, retain and motivate a more diverse workforce, better reflective of the customer base they serve.”
He added:  “Firms are increasingly finding that they can benefit from a higher level of loyalty, commitment and engagement from workers from a broad base of employees, not just working mothers, if they adopt a more universal approach to considering flexible working requests.
In contrast to some of the rhetoric in sections of the media, it is also interesting to note that many small businesses make extensive use of flexible working and, because of their size and personal relationships with their employees, can be amongst the best at making it work.

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