The government has launched a consultation into flexible working to examine how dealing with employee requests can be made easier for businesses.

Earlier this year, it was recommended that the right to request flexible working be extended to all parents with children under the age of 16.

The proposals were widely welcomed, but employers raised concerns about the amount of additional paperwork and that would be involved.

In response, a consultation has been launched to seek views on how paperwork and red tape can be reduced and will be open until November 18th.

Among other things, it will consider whether to scrap the requirement for employers to formally write to staff whose requests have been accepted.

Employment relations minister Pat McFadden said: "The right to request flexible working has worked well because it helps employees to balance their home and work lives, but at the same time gives employers the right to say no where there are legitimate business concerns."

According to new research from MRINetwork, younger workers often respond better to short-term benefits such as flexible working than they do to long-term benefits such as pensions.