The Government is looking at the right of parents to request flexible working to help balance their work and family commitments. And it would like your opinion.
The Department for Business Innovations & Skills is right now exploring proposals for the design of a more flexible system of parental leave, including how best to extend the right to request flexible working to all employees.
Speaking at an event on contemporary parenting, the Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said: “Right now, most parents simply do not have flexibility they need. Despite the fact fathers can request flexible working, many feel reluctant to do so. There is still a stigma attached.”
According to Business Secretary Vince Cable, the Government will consult fully with small businesses on how best to proceed. “We are conscious of the concerns of some companies, particularly SMEs – but I hope they will embrace our plans,” he said.
In this day and age, flexible working cannot simply mean working from home or the office. For parents especially, the skill of juggling work, childcare and home life is a tough one. Hours wasted commuting to work can leave parents crippled with guilt and rushing out of the office at the first opportunity.
Things are changing, but there’s a long way to go. Third Door, the work hub with integral nursery in Wandsworth, London, has just celebrated its first birthday. Technology means that you can now work from pretty much anywhere you like – home, a work hub or even Starbucks. Yet our roads are still clogged by commuters and the expectation is still that we’ll be in an office from nine to five-thirty every weekday. Or even longer.
It’s time for a change.
photo credit: [nohide]it’s a foot![/nohide]