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Career advice - Employment law - Flexible working

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  • This right applies to employees with six months’ continuous service with their employer.
  • The employee must have a child under 6 years or a disabled child under 18 years or be the carer of an adult (from April 2007)
  • A carer is any employee who is or expects to be caring for an adult who:
  • Is married to, or the partner or civil partner of the employee of
  • Is a ‘near relative’ of the employee
  • Falls into neither category but lives at the same address as the employee
  • The employee can request:
  • A change to working hours
  • A change to times worked or
  • A change to the place of work
  • An employer must give serious consideration to requests. Grounds for refusal include:
  • burden of additional costs
  • inability to meet customer demand
  • inability to reorganise work
  • detrimental affect on quality/performance
  • insufficient work during proposed periods of work
  • planned structural changes
  • Any change is a permanent one and it does not revert back when the child reaches 6 or 18

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Time off for dependants

  • This right allows employees to take a reasonable amount of time off work to deal with certain unexpected or sudden emergencies and to make any necessary longer term arrangements
  • There is no qualifying period of service
  • Employees are protected from being penalised or dismissed because they have taken, or have sought to take, time off under this right
  • Time off be taken:
  • when a dependant falls ill, has been injured or assaulted
  • when a dependant is having a baby
  • To make longer term care arrangements for a dependant who is ill or injured
  • To deal with a death of a dependant
  • To deal with an unexpected disruption or breakdown of care arrangements for a dependant
  • To deal with an unexpected incident involving the employee’s child during school hours

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Parental Leave

  • Either parent or an individual with formal parental responsibility (providing he/she has one year’s continuous service with their employer) has the right to take 13 weeks parental leave before their child’s 5th birthday or 18 weeks before the child’s 18th birthday if the child has a disability
  • Leave is unpaid and the government introduce a fallback scheme with a maximum of four weeks' leave per year. Leave must be taken in blocks of one week, however, parents of disabled children can take leave in blocks on one day

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