Flexible working advice by text

25 July 2006

Gadget-friendly dads will soon be able to access advice on flexible working via text messaging and email, thanks to an initiative planned by work-life balance charity Working Families.

The service, set to launch this autumn, will allow parents to email or text their questions about maternity and paternity leave and flexible working to the Working Families helpline team. They will receive a reply the same way, and if they have more questions, they can either continue emailing or texting, or get specialist advice and telephone coaching from the helpline team.

The service is being aimed particularly at dads, who are less likely than mothers to request flexible working and are more likely to have their requests turned down; and who seem to prefer online sources of information to telephone helplines.

Fathers Working Families’ freephone legal helpline on 0800 013 0313 is funded by the Big Lottery Fund, the European Social Fund, the Association of London Government and the City Parochial Foundation. The helpline offers advice on negotiating family friendly hours, relevant employment law, maternity and paternity leave, emergency leave, tax credits and benefits. Advisers also offer on-going support to parents and carers who want to make a case for flexible working to their employers.

The charity’s website also includes an interactive Flexible Working Guide to help parents and carers consider the legal, financial, workplace, childcare and family issues that can affect their working hours, before giving a step by step guide to negotiating the hours they want.

For more details visit Working Families.

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