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Government introduces flexible working hours for parents

In a move which has been welcomed by parents, but received a very lukewarm response from business, the UK government has extended current guidelines regarding flexible working for parents. Currently, parents with children under six years of age are able to approach their employers about flexible working hours although this has now been extended to those with children aged 16 or under.

However, many people across the UK who have attempted to change their working hours around school holidays and other issues with the family will know that life is not as simple as that. While the headline grabbing initiative looks good on paper in reality businesses across the UK still remain fairly inflexible with regards to flexible working hours.

From a business point of view, it is very difficult to plan ahead for particular projects or work cover when you may need to introduce flexible working hours for a number of members of staff. While charities supporting flexible working hours for UK families have welcomed the move, indeed even suggesting that fathers should also participate, the CBI has expressed a concern that this particular initiative may be difficult to accommodate. There is also the question of whether the middle of a recession is the correct time to introduce such a move.

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