The draft regulations under the Work and Families Act 2006 giving carers the right to request flexible working are to be laid before Parliament this month and are due to come into force on 6 April 2007. The DTI has announced that the definition of a "carer" in the final regulations shall include any employee who is or expects to be caring for an adult who:-

#  is married to, or the partner or civil partner of the employee;

#  is a 'near relative' of the employee. 'Near relative' shall include parents, parents-in-law, adult children, adopted adult children, siblings (including in-laws), uncles, aunts or grandparents and step-relatives; or

#  falls into neither category but lives at the same address as the employee.

The Government decided to adopt the wider "near relative" definition opposed to the other proposed narrower definition of "immediate relative". It is estimated this wider definition will cover 80% of all carers.