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EEF: delay flexible work changes

07 May 2008

EEF: delay flexible work changes Manufacturers have called on the government to delay plans to extend employees' rights to flexible working, it has been reported.

A poll of 446 of the sector's companies - by employers' body the EEF - found the majority had experienced practical problems with implementing the current law, according to Personnel Today.

It also found that a majority opposed extending the right to request more flexible working.

The current law states the statutory right to request flexible working covers parents of young and disabled children as well as carers of certain adults, but the government is due to publish a review by Sainsbury's HR director Imelda Walsh into an extension of the right.

Students who work part-time in the sector to support their studies could be interested to hear that if the government does extend employees' rights to flexible working, they would have more chance to make work fit around their studies.

Peter Schofield, EEF's director of employment and legal affairs, believes the legal right to request flexible working "should only cover employees with caring responsibilities".

"While manufacturers have seen benefits from the introduction of flexible working, the last thing they need now is to have to consider more and more requests," he added.

"They need to be given time before this right is extended to more employees. If it is extended, they are more likely to say 'no' and some people who really need to work flexibly could then miss out."

According to the EEF, it provides manufacturing and engineering support and advice as well as general business support to over 6,000 companies.

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