Carers across the UK are set to benefit from the right to request flexible working.
Employment relations minister Jim Fitzpatrick today announced the definition of carer that will be used for the right to request adaptable hours from 6 April 2007.
The definition of carer is an employee who is or expects to be caring for an adult who is either their husband or wife, their civil partner, or a close relation.
The employee will also fall into the government category of carer if they look after somebody who lives at the same address.
Fitzpatrick said: “The government understands how difficult it can be for people to balance their work with caring for someone who is sick or disabled.
“We want to make sure that as many carers as possible have the right to request flexible working, while at the same time not placing an unnecessary burden on business.
“We consulted with business, unions and carers' groups about the definition of which carers will be covered by the legislation.
“We have decided to go with the option that best balances the views of these groups and will cover around 80% of carers.”