New flexible working hours will be a boon for family carers

A change in the law, which came into effect on June 30th, which allows any employee the right to ask their employer for a change in working hours, should be a boon for those providing care for a family member.

Prior to the change, the law stated that only parents of children under 16 or registered carers were allowed to make a request for flexible working. But now, subject to an employee having worked with their employer for at least 26 weeks, they can make one ‘flexibility request’ per year. Employers are legally bound to consider the request.

Home Instead has for a long-time argued that there is a need for the introduction of flexible working patterns for those with family in need of care and support.

The company argued this point in their submission to the House of Lords Select Committee on Public Service and Demographic Change in 2012. Home Instead also made the point in their submission of evidence to the Commission on the Future of the Home Care Workforce earlier this year.

Commenting on the ruling, Trevor Brocklebank of Home Instead said, “With an ageing population many adult children find themselves juggling work and home commitments, plus need to spend time with an ageing parent or relative.

“This might be time spent providing care, helping around the house or accompanying them to appointments but it’s very difficult to fit these activities in when you are working full time.

“These are things which help support a person who wishes to remain in their own home, leading an independent life and it’s a really important part of keeping our ageing relatives fit and active.


“The new law should make things better for carers and those being cared for.”