Flexible working rules due in 2012Workers will have the right to request flexible working arrangements from their employers starting in 2012, according to the new business plan recently published by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).

In the document, BIS revealed that it currently intends to analyse consultation responses and draw up legislation relating to flexible working and shared parental leave between April and December 2011.

"Our reforms will support long term growth by ensuring that businesses operate responsibly [and] that small businesses have the opportunity to compete with the large," said business secretary Vince Cable.

BIS published the document as part of the coalition government's stated commitment to increasing transparency and the department stated that it will provide guidance on the scrapping of the default retirement age next September.

Last week, Institute of Directors spokesman Alistair Tebbit questioned the government's commitment to reducing regulation and singled out the new flexible working provisions as an area of particular concern.

Posted by Hayley Edwards