Minister calls for wider flexible working rights
Yvette Cooper: ‘You want people to offer flexible working from the beginning’.
Ministers are considering giving all employees the right to ask for flexible working hours “from the beginning” of a new job as part of plans to encourage a fundamental shift in working habits.
The work and pensions secretary, Yvette Cooper, has told the Guardian that she wants a new recruit to be able to ask an employer for flexible hours earlier than the current 26 weeks an employee has to have completed to make such a request.
The current rules are limited to parents of children under 16 and carers, and Cooper wants to extend them. “You want people to offer flexible working from the beginning and we need to look again at how the legislation can support different ways of doing that,” she said.
Cooper’s plans come after the fourth largest of the City’s “magic circle” law firms – Allen and Overy – announced it would for the first time allow top partners to work part-time in an effort to help senior members take up flexible working, and retain those trying to balance work and family life at the upper echelons of the firm…