A Tory peer has suggested that parents of children aged 18 and under should be eligible for flexible parental working rights.

Currently, it is only available for employees who have children aged six or under and Baroness Morris of Bolton has suggested that this change would not mean additional regulation for employers.

The proposal forms part of the Baroness’s Equal Pay and Flexible Working Bill which is having its second reading in the House of Lords.

Commenting on her proposal, Baroness Morris said: “Many companies operate flexible working practices already. This Bill imposes no extra burden on them.”

She explained that the Bill also aimed to ensure that companies who pay female workers less than their male counterparts should have to carry out equal pay audits.

Equality Minister, Harriet Harman recently voiced concern about the “unlawful” practice of “women being targeted by their employers during the downturn”.