News: Flexible Working Could be Extended to All

A new flexible working scheme was announced today by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, which could have an impact on small businesses. In an extension to the current flexible working rules for mothers, other carers (such as fathers, grandparents and close friends) will also be able to request flexible working time when the changes come into place in 2014. This essentially means that everyone has the right to request flexible working hours.

Under the scheme, people will only be eligible to ask for flexible hours – they don’t necessarily have to be granted. However, the vast majority (80-90%) of requests are currently accepted, and the business must give a valid reason for rejecting a request.

These could be tough for small businesses to accommodate, especially in working environments with set hours, such as shops and salons. There are fears that to ensure adequate cover, many businesses may have to take on more staff – something which they may not be able to afford.

Do you think it’s good that everyone can now access flexible working? Or do you think it could be bad for your business? Leave us a comment to let us know what you think.

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Kasey writes about the latest small business and website news for bOnline. Find Kasey on Google+, or follow bOnline on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+

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