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The Committee recommend that the Flexible Working Regulations 2014 be amended to ensure the right to request flexible working exists from the first day of employment. The Government has confirmed that flexible working is a priority, and that as part of the Industrial Strategy’s Ageing Grand Challenge, it is working to galvanise further action to support carers in the workforce. This includes working with businesses to encourage more flexible practices to support carers - for example, putting in place caring plans, agreements and return to work policies and selecting ‘caring champions’. We know there are good examples of companies already seeking to support carers within their workforces and we want to work with employers to scale this up 40.
The Government would like flexible working to be an option for employees, whatever their personal circumstances and has set up a Flexible Working Taskforce with the intention to draw efforts together and develop a consolidated and co-ordinated action plan to promote more flexible work places. The first question the taskforce is tackling is how all sides can work together to make a reality of the Prime Minister’s call for businesses to make flexible working a reality for all employees by advertising all jobs as flexible from day one, unless there are solid business reasons not to.
The Committee also concluded that there is a strong case for five days’ statutory paid carer’s leave based on the existing statutory leave system and the Government has confirmed it is committed to explore this.