FT - James Lowman, chairman, ACS

ACS chief executive James Lowman

A new consultation launched by the government on enhancing flexible working rights and making the right to request flexible working a right from the first day of employment, has been welcomed by the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS).

Convenience stores provide employment to 392,000 people across the country, 64% of whom have childcare or family commitments that need to flex around their work.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “We know how important it is to our colleagues to balance work and personal commitments so we welcome more clarity on flexible working requests.

“The convenience sectors offer genuinely flexible, secure working opportunities that are informed by good communications between retailers and stores colleagues.”

The government consultation, Making Flexible Working the Default, proposes that from the first day of employment there should be a right to request flexible working, and it aims to simplify the administrative process for managing requests and how employers can suggest alternatives.