Northern Ireland: Flexible Working – Entitlement extended to carers of children up to age 16Wednesday, July 7th, 2010
From 18 July 2010, the right of employees in Northern Ireland to request a contract variation to care for a child (i.e. a “flexible working” request) is extended to those who care for a child up to and including the age of 16. The right currently applies only to carers of children up to age 6, disabled children up to age 18, and adult dependents from age 18.
Technically, the Regulations require the application for a contract variation to be made no later than the day before the child’s 17th birthday – meaning that, if the request is approved, the child can be over age 16.
This entitlement was provided throughout the rest of the United Kingdom from 6 April 2009 but is only now being introduced following a consultation exercise in Northern Ireland. A number of options were considered and, in the event, the Department for Employment and Learning decided to replicate the situation in the rest of the UK.