Business News

Right to Request Flexible Working Extended

Workers’ right to request flexible working is to be extended under a change to be introduced from 6 April, businesses are reminded.

Employees are currently eligible to request flexible working to care for a child to care for a child aged under 17, a disabled child aged under 18 who receives disability living allowance or certain adults who require care

From 6 April 2011, the right to request flexible working will be extended to workers where the child involved is under the age of 18, whether the child is disabled or not.

Also from 6 April 2011, employers will be able recruit a job candidate or promote an existing employee who has a protected characteristic if they are of equal merit to another candidate or employee and the employer reasonably thinks that people with that characteristic:

  • are underrepresented in their existing workforce or
  • suffer a disadvantage connected to that characteristic.

The relevant protected characteristics are:

  • age
  • disability
  • gender reassignment
  • marriage and civil partnership
  • pregnancy and maternity
  • race, ethnic or national origin, colour and nationality
  • religion/belief or lack of any religion/belief
  • sex
  • sexual orientation.

From 3 April 2011, employees will gain the right to additional paternity leave and pay (APL&P) where their partner is due to give birth on or after 3 April  or they have been notified on or after 3 April that they have been matched with a child for adoption

Additional paternity leave (APL) will allow an employee to take up to 26 weeks’ leave to care for the child. They will only be able to start APL 20 or more weeks after the child’s birth or placement for adoption and/or after their partner has returned to work from statutory maternity or adoption leave or ended their entitlement to statutory maternity or adoption pay, or maternity allowance.

The APL must also end by the end of the 52nd week after the child’s actual birth or placement for adoption.

Additional statutory paternity pay (ASPP) will only be paid during the time their partner would have received statutory maternity or adoption pay, or maternity allowance.

LINK: Business Link regulation updates