Whilst anyone can ask their employer for more flexible working arrangements, since April 2003 parents and others (such as guardians) who are responsible for looking after children under the age of six years (or 18 years if the child is disabled) have had the legal right to request to work flexible hours and to have their request taken seriously by their employer, provided they have worked for their employer for 26 weeks continuously before the application is made.
Home workers have higher levels of happiness
Hard to believe perhaps but according to a website for the 21st Century Family (www.funkyangel.co.uk) they are as a study of 466 participants were questioned on their lifestyle with 81% generally reporting they were happy financially and physically.
Many had succeeded in making the transition from corporate life to home working thanks to 21st century communications and technology that enabled them to balance work and families. Though challenging at times for most the change was beneficial as it gave home working entrepreneurs greater control and flexibility which meant less stress, better communication and stronger family bonds.
Beat the commute
With almost one million people commuting into London on a daily basis each spending almost one hour per journey it is no wonder many others seek to "escape the rat race" and by "thinking outside the box" choose to work in a different way.
Looking at the ten hours loss of production/revenue each week one might wonder why more do not use wi-fi and Bluetooth technology to tele-work, hot-desk or home-work from home/more local work centres or virtual offices though of course this depends on the nature of their jobs and services and the flexibility of their employers.
Beating the "train/tube journey from hell" by working flexibly and by using the internet, e-mail, telephone and video conferencing is surely a more efficient and effective way forward for many and with wi-fi technology, blackberry and Bluetooth has never been easier.
Your home office-the legalities
If any of your emploees work from home, there are legal ramifications which need to be considered. There are few regulations that apply to 'normal' businesses that do not apply to 'home' businesses: you are not exempt just because you operate within your own home.
If you are considering setting up employees at home, make sure you are not breaching Local Authority regulations. If it is simply a matter of converting a room into an office and importing some office furniture and computer equipment, this is unlikely to cause a problem. If, however, you will need to hold stock (especially if that stock is in any way dangerous or could pose a nuisance) there are likely to be difficulties in a residentially zoned area. Visiting clients or customers can also be a source of difficulty, especially if parking is at a premium in your area. Keeping your neighbours happy is important when running any home business.
Almost any business will need to register under the Data Protection Act. Read the full article by clicking the storyline above.
Rest breaks for mobile workers
Under the Working Time Regulations 1998, a worker is entitled to a rest period of 'not less than eleven consecutive hours in each 24-hour period during which he works for his employer'. However, there are exceptions, one of which is where the activities of the worker in question involve the need for continuity of service, such as when mobile workers carry passengers on regular urban transport services.
In the case of First Hampshire & Dorset Ltd. v Feist and others, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) examined the proper construction of the Working Time Regulations, as amended, with regard to rest breaks for such workers.
Mr Feist and his colleagues were employed as bus drivers by First Hampshire & Dorset Ltd. The question arose as to whether, on those occasions when their work involved daily rest periods of less than 11 hours in each 24-hour period, the drivers were entitled to adequate rest breaks only or whether they were also entitled to compensatory rest. The Employment Tribunal ruled that they were entitled to both.
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