Neil Atkinson, director of Deminos said: “There is no legal right to give people the time they ask for but … employers have a duty to consider any applications for flexible working, but they can reject it for sound business reasons. But they can’t just say no this is asking for trouble!
“Employers should expect a deluge of requests when this becomes law next year, with millions of parents asking for more flexible working to cope with the demands of older children.”
More legislation is also in the pipeline with proposals that from 2010 employees will gain the right to request time off for training, potentially allowing up to 22 million workers in England to apply. Neil Atkinson added: “This is an interesting one as you could have a situation where an employee requests time off to study or train to have a career change. An employer could in effect be actively helping that worker to leave the company! If this proposal becomes law, and it certainly looks that way, it will be another case of how a business responds to a request that will be important.”