Corporate Services Cabinet Member – minutes – 3 April 2009

256 (122) FLEXIBLE WORKING POLICY – The Service Director Human Resources submitted an urgent report seeking approval for revisions to the council’s Flexible Working policy.

The matter was urgent because the new statutory provisions came into effect on 6 April 2009.

The Flexible Working policy formed part of the council’s Human Resources (HR) Manual and was last reviewed following statutory changes in February 2008. The policy provided for certain employees to request a variation to their working patterns where they had parental/caring responsibilities. At present the statutory right applied to employees with parental responsibility for children under the age of six (or 18 in the case of a disabled child), it also extended to carers of adults under certain circumstances.

In November 2007, the government announced that the statutory right to request flexible working would be further extended to parents of older children. An independent review was established to consider the implications of extending flexible working. After some uncertainty about whether the change would be introduced in the current economic climate, the original recommendations of the review received Parliamentary approval during March 2009.

The statutory right to request flexible working was extended to parents of children under the age of 17 and came into force on 6 April 2009. The right remained to make a request for those employees who made an application to care for a child under 18 years if disabled.

Resolved – That the proposed amendment to the Flexible Working policy be approved and adopted