Cancer charity Clic Sargent calls for automatic right to flexible working for parents whose children have cancer

Parents of children diagnosed with cancer should be given an automatic right to flexible working, a charity has said.

The Clic Sargent cancer charity said the law which demands employers seriously consider requests for flexible working is insufficient.

A poll of more than 50 families with children who have cancer found many used their holidays, cut their hours or left their jobs altogether for caring reasons.

The charity said parents needed to be given an automatic right to flexible working and time off.

Dr Carole Easton, the charity’s chief executive, said: “Currently there is a right to request flexible working but it doesn’t suit everyone. Parents are not in a fit state to negotiate and employers don’t have to agree to it.”

But the CBI said flexible working was a success with 94% of requests accepted in whole or in part.

“This is because employers and staff are encouraged to work together to find a solution suitable to both. But any further extension must be carefully thought through,” a spokesman said.

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