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DTI announces Work and Parents taskforce

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dtiWorking hours that can be made to measure and make life easier for millions of busy mums and dads moved a step closer, as Trade and Industry Secretary Patricia Hewitt appointed a new taskforce to look at how flexible working practices can be introduced in a business friendly way.

The Work and Parent Taskforce will examine ways of giving working mothers and fathers of young children the legal right to ask to work flexible hours and to have their requests considered seriously by their employers. In taking forward this work’ the Taskforce will need to develop a light touch legislative solution which builds on best practice and avoids placing onerous burdens on business

The taskforce will be chaired by Professor Sir George Bain (currently chair of the Low Pay Commission) and is made up of the following 9 members:

Announcing the taskforce, Secretary of State for Trade and Industry and Minister for Women Patricia Hewitt said today:

“This Government is doing all it can to try to make everyday life easier for millions of working mums and dads by bridging the gap between workplace and home through common sense policies.

“The new Work and Parents Taskforce will advise on how we put in place measures which allow parents with young children to ask to work flexible hours and to have their requests seriously considered.

“Flexible working was the biggest single issue raised by both parents and business during last December’s consultation on the Green Paper: Work and Parents: Competitiveness and Choice.

“The Work and Parents Taskforce I am announcing today confirms this Government’s commitment to listening to parents and bosses in order to achieve a workplace sympathetic to family and best for business.”

Professor Sir George Bain, Chair of the Work and Parents Taskforce, today said:

“I am pleased to be chairing the new Work and Parents Taskforce.

“Working parents of young children have said what they want most is the ability to work flexibly. It will be the role of the taskforce to examine how a right for such parents to request to work flexible hours can be introduced, building on existing best practice that is compatible with business efficiency.”

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