Nick Clegg will announce the extension of the right to request flexible working hours to all employees this week. The deputy prime minister will say in a keynote speech that he wants to encourage a culture in which people feel confident to ask employers to change their working hours.
The change will mean people will be able to ask their bosses for flexible hours if they wish to help others with childcare. Only those with children aged 17 and under, relatives and some carers currently have the right to request flexible hours.
Clegg will say on Tuesday that there are a million women missing from the economy but he believes labour can be drawn back into the workforce with such changes to the law. He estimates that if the UK had the same ratio of female entrepreneurs as the US, the economy would be better off by £42bn.