Work and families act part 1

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  • Work and Families Act 2007
    • Changes maternity leave rights for workers but also gives carers new rights at work.
    • 1 in 5 carers have to give up work to care, with consequences for the individual and for their employer.
    • The Act gives carers the right to request flexible working. Parents of children under six and disabled children under 18 already had this right - now carers join them.
      • Came into force in April 2007. From April 2009 this right is also avaliable to parents of all children under 17.
    • Flexible working
      • Could be anything from altering an employee's arival and leaving times or allowing them to work compressed or annualised hours, to giving someone access to a phone, or granting emergency leave.
    • The law was put in place because research showed that flexible working can boost productivity and cut absence rates, whilst 63% of employers surveyed saw a positive impact on recruitment and retention and 69% reported improvements to employee relations.
      • Employers to have the right to say 'no' to a request but they must demonstrate clearly why and how it would be to the detriment of their business.
    • Definition of a carer in the Act
      • An adult who they are married to or who is their partner or civil partner.
      • Someone who is a close relative
      • Someone who falls into neither category but lives at the same address as the carer
    • Good practice employers have taken the opportunity to extend their flexible working policies to cover all carers
    • There is a commitment to extending the legal definition in the revised National Strategy for Carers.


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