Following reports that the government is planning to extend the right to request flexible working to parents of children aged up to 12, calls have been made for it to go further.

According to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), the Labour administration should be "bolder" and extend the right to request to all employees.

Currently, the right is reserved for parents whose children are under six or are disabled.

"We wholly support moves to extend the ‘right to request’ to more parents. But the government should be bolder still and extend the right to all workers," stated Mike Emmott, CIPD employee relations adviser.

He added that failing to do so could result in divisions opening up in the workplace between those who have the right and those that do not.

Mr Emmott went on to say that CIPD research indicates that broadening the right to request flexible working arrangements would enhance employee engagement and therefore increase the productivity and performance of organisations.