Prime Minister Tony Blair has
promised to extend the right to request flexible working to carers of elderly
and sick relatives.
At a ‘Big Conversation’ meeting
in Downing Street to discuss work-life balance issues, Blair promised to extend
the same workplace rights to carers as those introduced for parents.
Carers are currently only
entitled to request time off for emergencies.
Over half of the nation’s six
million carers are in work, and more would like to be able to combine caring
with having a job.
Imelda Redmond, chief executive of Carers UK, said: "This is
tremendous news for carers struggling to juggle work and care.
"Our work over the years
has shown time and again that flexibility from employers helps carers to stay
in work longer. Employers also tell us
that they get business benefits from employees in terms of lower absenteeism
and recruitment costs."