Carers of adults will be given the right to request flexible working from next April under the Work and Families Act 2006.
It is hoped the act, which received royal assent last week, will help carers juggle work and family life.
However, there are concerns that the government has failed to define clearly what a carer is, in regulations to accompany the act.
A Department of Trade and Industry consultation on draft guidance proposed that the definition should be limited to people caring for relatives, partners and people living with them. While the DTI is yet to publish the final version of the guidance, campaigners have called for a wider definition (Flexible working plan ‘ignores realities of caring’, 11 May).
Carers UK chief executive Imelda Redmond said: “We’re urging employers not to re-invent the wheel but achieve better implementation of this new right by April 2007.”