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Since taking effect in 2003, the United Kingdom’s Flexible Working Act has granted parents with children under the age of 6, or with disabled children under the age of 18, the right to request flexible working arrangements from their employers if they have been employed for at least 6 months. This legislation’s provisions were expanded to include employees with adult caregiving responsibilities beginning in 2007, and the government is in the process of planning formal public consultations to extend the law further to include parents of older children.i The law was enacted following a process of consultation with employees and employers about the need for flexibility in the workplace. It grew out of a set of recommended policy solutions, as a first step in addressing flexibility with the intent to gradually expand the law to cover additional workers.


Prepared for Workplace Flexibility 2010 by Anna Danziger and Shelley Waters Boots on behalf of the Urban Institute. April 30, 2008