The Department of Trade and Industry has released a free e-learning course to ensure that parents are aware of their rights and opportunities in relation to flexible working.
Published by the Advisory Conciliation and Arbitration Service, the course is partly in response to a DTI report suggesting that the opportunity to work flexibly is going mainstream.
The yearly Workplace Employment Relations Survey found significant increases in the following areas:
- Home working (up 16 per cent to 28 per cent)
- Term-time only working (up 14 per cent to 28 per cent)
- Flexitime (up 19 per cent to 26 per cent)
- Job sharing (up 31 per cent to 41 per cent)
- Switching from full to part-time working (up 18 per cent to 64 per cent)
There was also an increase in employers offering extra time off for the following reasons:
- Parental leave (up from 38 per cent to 73)
- Paid paternity leave (up from 48 per cent to 92 per cent)
- Special paid leave for emergencies (up from 24 per cent to 31 per cent)
Ironically, the government announced in April that it is to slash jobs and offices at ACAS as a result of a 16 per cent cut in funding over three years. It is expected to lose 120 jobs and 30 offices.
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