The Employment Relations Minister, Ed Davey, has announced that the Government intends to extend the current right for employees to request to work flexibly to parents of children under 18 from April 2011 (up from the current cap of children aged under 17). This will bring a further 300,000 employees within the scope of this legislation and will come into effect at the same time as the extended paternity leave rights.

The Government also reiterated that a consultation will be launched later this year looking at how to extend the right to request flexible working to all employees and also in relation to the design of a new system of flexible parental leave.