Flexible Working

Mothers’ Union believes in the importance of supporting families to balance their work and family life commitments. That’s why, since 2006, we have been campaigning for employees to have the right to request flexible working through our Flexible Families campaign.

In April 2003 the Employment Act 2002 introduced a statutory right for parents and guardians of children under six, and of disabled children under 18, to ask their employer for a permanent change to the hours they work, their start and finish times and their place of work - known as flexible working.

In April 2007 this ‘right to request’ was extended to include carers of adults and in April 2009 was extended to include parents and guardians of children up to the age of 16.

As part of the Coalition agreement in May 2010, the government promised to ‘extend the right to request flexible working to all employees, consulting with business on how best to do so’. Following public consultations this right to request will be extended to many more employees from June 2014, regardless of whether they have children or other caring responsibilities. 

For details on how to initiate, and how to respond to, a request for flexible working please read our response to the Modern Workplaces Consultation, as well as our Right to Request Flexible Working briefing or go to www.gov.uk/flexible-working/overview