Nine-to-five hours 'in decline'

The nine-to-five working day is in decline due to new flexible working legislation, according to new reports.

A survey released yesterday by the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform of 1,400 workplaces found that 92 per cent of employers said they would consider a flexible working request from any member of staff.

The employment relations minister, Pat McFadden, said: "More people want to balance work with family and lifestyle and more employers are increasingly recognising that flexibility helps retain good staff.

"We have developed a staged approach for employees to request flexible working which is proving effective - from giving the right to request flexible working to parents with children under six on to carers of disabled children under 18 and adults."

The Work-Life Balance Employer Survey also found that the amount of workplaces providing childcare facilities or other arrangements to help parents combine work with family commitments has more than doubled since 2003.

Growing numbers of employees opting for flexible working options has been partly enabled by developments in IT.

Home PCs with internet connections suitable for home-working are now widespread in the UK, making the home office a viable solution for many employees, who cut their carbon emissions in the process by leaving their cars in the garage.