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Annie Hayes

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Eight out of ten employers agree to flexitime requests

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Employees are increasingly aware of their “right to request working flexible hours,” according to figures released by the government this week, which suggest 65% are aware of their right to request flexible working, in comparison to 41% in 2003. And employers are increasingly willing to agree to those requests.

Legislation introduced in April 2003 means that employers have “a duty to consider employee requests for flexible working against the needs of the business as a whole.”

The recent study showed that “nearly a quarter of working parents with young children have asked to work flexibly over the past two years,” while 14% of all employees made such a request.

The statistics also show that employers had accepted 81% of all requests by employees to work flexibly, compared to 77% in 2003.

The survey found:

* female employees were more likely to have made a request to work flexibly than men (19% and 10% respectively);

* requests were higher among those employees with dependent children under the age of six (22%), aged between six and 11 (18%) or aged between 12 and 16 (15%) than employees without dependent children (10%);

* the most requested flexible working patterns were part-time and flexi-time. Female employees were most likely to request to work part-time while male employees were more likely to request to work flexitime;

* the number of requests being declined by employers has almost halved since the introduction of the right to request flexible working in 2003 (11% compared with 20%); and,

* almost one in five employees reported taking time off to care for someone in the last two years, with over half taking time off to look after dependent children.




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Annie Hayes

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