Acas has this week published a new flexible working guide to help working fathers strike a better balance between work and home.
From flexi-time to compressed hours, Acas advises that there are multiple ways for fathers to strike a better balance between work and family time. The new work-life balance guide highlights the full range of options available to dads - both in business and at home.
It has also produced a set of top tips for working dads which advises fathers (and potential fathers) to consider all the flexible working options available to them. This includes working from home, asking for flexi-time to fit in with, say, school hours, or job sharing, which would mean working fewer days. In addition, Acas advises fathers to look into the possibility of shared parental leave if both they and their partners are working and expecting a new arrival to the family.
The right to request flexible working was extended to all employees in 2014, giving them a statutory right to ask their employer for a change to their contractual terms and conditions of employment in order to work flexibly, as long as they have already worked for their employer for six months. Employers must consider all requests objectively and can only refuse them if they have a business reason (which is set out in the legislation) for doing so.
Shared parental leave and pay came into effect for babies due on or after 5 April 2015, or adoptions where the child is placed on or after 5 April 2015. The shared parental leave system allows couples to share the first year off with the baby. Only eligible employees can apply for shared parental leave.
Neil Todd of Thompsons Solicitors commented: “This is welcome guidance from ACAS about the options potentially available to work more flexibly. However as a recent report by the TUC illustrated there are still many workers who would like to work more flexibly but are prevented from doing so by their employers.
“Without further cultural change amongst some employers, or a strengthening of the current legislative provisions, then many workers, typically in lower-paid jobs, will remain unable to work to more family-friendly shift patterns.”
To access the guide, go to: http://www.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=5331
To read more about shared parental leave, go to: http://www.thompsonstradeunionlaw.co.uk/information-and-resources/lelr-biannual/autumn-winter-focus-flexible-family-friendly-rights.htm