More employees are now aware of their right to request flexible working hours, according to statistics released by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).
The DTI’s Flexible Working Employee Survey for 2005 found that nearly 65% of the UK workforce are aware of their right to request flexible working, compared with 41% in 2003.
Under new legislation introduced in April 2003, employers have a duty to consider staff requests for flexible working.
The DTI carried out this study to monitor the changes in awareness and the take-up of the right to request flexible working from that legislation.
It showed nearly a quarter of working parents with young children have asked to work flexibly over the past two years, while 14% of all staff have made requests.
Other key findings include:
– Requests were higher among staff with dependent children under the age of six (22%), aged between six and 11 (18%), or aged between 12 and 16 (15%), than those without dependent children (10%)
– Women were most likely to ask to work part-time, while men were more likely to request flexitime
– The number of requests declined by employers has almost halved since the introduction of the right to request flexible working in 2003 (11% compared with 20%).