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Flexible Working

3rd June 2010

Harriett Baldwin asks the Secretary of State for Business about proposals to extend the right to request flexible working to all employees and plans for consultation.

Harriett Baldwin (West Worcestershire) (Con): What plans he has to extend the right to request flexible working to all employees. [000768]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills (Mr Edward Davey): I welcome the hon. Lady to the House and congratulate her on her election. The coalition agreement commits the Government to extending the right to request flexible working to all employees. We will be consulting businesses and listening to their views, and we hope to bring proposals to the House later in the year.

Harriett Baldwin: Thank you very much for that answer, and I am pleased to welcome all of you to the team. It is so nice to have you in this House.

I want to ask about flexible working arrangements in particular. I know from my own experience how valuable it can be to an employer to have employees on flexible working arrangements, but I realise that small businesses are very concerned about the potential impact of extending this regulation and I wondered what steps the team will take to consult on the extension of flexible working arrangements.

Mr Davey: Our commitment is for extensive consultation. I want to make it clear that my door is open to all business organisations and to the hon. Lady and hon. Members of the House. We will listen to those views and take them on board, but there is increasing evidence that flexible working arrangements are embraced by employers and employees and are welcomed in many businesses across the country.

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