In-laws can be relatives under extended Flexible Working regulations

The definition of relative under the Flexible Working (Eligibility, Complaints and Remedies) Regulations 2002 has been extended to include carers’ son-in-laws and daughter-in-laws.

The regulations, which were extended to offer the right to request flexible working to carers of adults in April this year, originally omitted both sons and daughters-in-law from the list of relatives that staff can request the right to work flexibly in order to care for.

Employers are not legally bound to grant all staff requests, but must offer employees the right to ask.

But although the definition has been widened, there is still some scepticism as to its effectiveness. Paul Sharma, managing partner at Sharma Solicitors, said: “Larger companies are very generous when it comes to offering flexible work, but smaller companies are the complete reverse”.