Flexible Working Good for Business says Nick Clegg

In a bid to work towards promoting entrepreurism amongst women and a rise in GDP, Nick Clegg has vowed to introduce flexible working hours to the UK. Currently, only parents with children under the age of 17 and certain carers have the right to request flexible hours, but this could change should Clegg be successful. While any proposed guidelines or legislation would not force employers to provide their employees with flexibility, it would mean they would have to consider certain requests in a way that is 'reasonable'.

The types of requests that could be made of employers vary according to the workplace, but some examples include being able to complete work at home where possible, and adopting more flexible shifts while maintaining the same working hours or work load. Extending such rules to those who do not have caring responsibilities is thought to be one way that could ease the load on mothers who have to find childcare. By allowing extended family members and close friends to adopt working hours in order to assist with childcare, Clegg anticipates that it will be easier for those with caring responsibilities to contribute to Britain's entrepreneurial environment.

As women are often the primary carers -- both for child and adult dependents -- this change could be potentially life changing for them. Currently, the UK ranks 15th in the world for activity in the economy, and Clegg believes that this is something that needs to change. By making it easier for women to engage in a working environment, it is predicted that GDP could rise by as much as £42billion. As women are now more qualified than men due to their attendance at academic institutions, Clegg feels that they now need more support in order to make the most of the skills they have. Using the post-second world war era as an example, he has demonstrated how a stronger female presence in our economy could raise living standards for everyone, as well as bringing major economic changes.

As female employment has slowed significantly in the last decade, this is a problem that must be addressed. Hopefully Nick Clegg's revolutionary changes will provide the support families need to make it easier for women to work.

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