Businesses urged to prepare for change in carer rights
Small businesses have been urged to make sure they are prepared for the new rights granted to employees who care for relatives.
It was recently announced that under new legislation coming into effect in April 2007, the definition of carers would be expanded to include employees who are, or expect to be, caring for their partners, civil partners, spouse, near relatives or other adults living at their address.
Those who fall under the new definition will have the right to request flexible working, in addition to employees with young children, who can already legally do this.
Law firm Mace & Jones said that the new right would be extended to an estimated 2.6 million carers from April 6th and business owners should audit their staff to make sure they know who will request flexible working.
"Failure to prepare for this significant change in legislation could be seriously disruptive if left to the last minute," said employment law partner, Justin Beevor.
"The definition of a carer covers a broad range of people and consequently this legal change could have a significant impact on how a business operates.
"It is vital employers are fully informed of what this legislation means and precisely what rights staff do and do not have. The key is preparation.