Flexible Working and Work-Life Balance

The Flexible working law enables parents with a child under 6 or a disabled child under 18 to make a request for flexible working, and places a duty on employers to consider such request seriously and only reject them for good business reasons.
On 6 April 2007 the right to request flexible working was extended to carers of adults. The guidance has been updated to take account of this change.

On 6 November 2007, the Prime Minister announced that the Government has decided to extend the right to request further - to parents of older children. At the same time he announced that he had asked Imelda Walsh, HR Director of J Sainsbury plc, to conduct a review of the question of where the age cut-off for older children should be set. Imelda Walsh published her report on 15 May 2008. Please go to "Related Documents" (right hand navigation) to view the report.

The Government will launch a public consultation on the details of implementation shortly.

If you are an employer you may also wish to visit the Business Link website, which provides practical advice for business.

If you are an employee please refer to the Directgov website which has information on all employment rights including work and families.

If you require further help Acas produce a number of useful guidance publications for both employers and employees. Acas also operate a helpline to answer employment questions: 08457 47 47 47 (open from 08.00 – 18.00 Monday to Friday).

Links to these and other useful sources of information and guidance can be found on the right hand side of this page.

Employment advisors and practitioners will find our detailed guidance on the right to request helpful.

Flexible working: the right to request and the duty to consider