Last week the government announced proposals to extend the right to request flexible working to parents of children aged up to 16. Lancaster University professor of organisational psychology Cary Cooper said such legislation could be a boon to firms struggling to recruit experienced engineers.
"As there is such a shortage of engineers at the moment, employers need to be looking at how to offer flexible working for senior positions not just on an ethical basis but because they need more engineers," added Cooper.
Under the current rules the opportunity for flexible working is limited to parents whose children are under six or disabled.
The proposals to extend the legislation were recommended in a review by Sainsbury’s HR director, Imelda Walsh. The Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform will now consult on implementation.