Peter Mandelson has decided that it's a bit shit for all parents of school-age children to be allowed to ask for (that's ask for, not be given) flexible working arrangements.
The reason? It's the ever-worrying 'small business':
Leaders of small businesses criticised the step and said it could be damaging to firms.
Then did they actually understand the legislation or were they just being thick cunts? You're entitled to ask for flexible working; your employer is equally entitled to say no thank you. And of course you're entitled to ask for anything you like whether or not there's legislation about it, so extending this move to parents of under-16s would have made not a blind bit of fucking difference given that every single request could quite simply have been rejected, with no recourse to any further action whatsoever from the employees.
This is just a ridiculous move that does nothing at all except snipe a bit at employees. So you're worried about childcare costs and want to change things around for the mutual benefit of you and your employer? Fuck you: 'small businesses' are worried about it!
The only small businesses who are worried are (a) the ones who are too stupid to understand that this astroturf legislation doesn't actually compel anyone ever to actually do anything or (b) actually just (a) will suffice. Any small business that thinks it's a really whizzo idea to piss off your hard-working parents by telling them to go fuck themselves, and would rather not be embarrassed by having legislation telling them that they've actually got to have a conversation about it and pretend to consider the request, will hopefully go to the wall anyway, and good fucking riddance.