The policy also affects all individuals who receive care from eligible employees, including adult patients, disabled individuals, and children under 6 years old. The Flexible Working Policy impacts the success of businesses by providing an opportunity for employers to be more efficient through satisfying the needs of their workforce. The Flexible Working Policy impacts the entire social healthcare system because it addresses the needs of carers. Carers are the most important component of the British healthcare system and need the legislation and support of the government. The Flexible Working Policy is simply another attempt to provide services for carers. This is also the government's attempt to not have to provide a free and universal healthcare system. The purpose is to have the community take care of itself in terms of social healthcare. Whether this is right or wrong is debatable. What is certain is that the government is responsible for providing adequate benefits and services for carers.
According to the Department for Business Enterprise & Regulatory Reform, carers are defined as "adults who expect to be caring for a spouse, partner, civil partner or relative; or if not the spouse, partner or a relative, live at the same address as the adult in need of care" (DFBERR, 2009, Part 1). This is a rather broad definition that illustrates that in legislation today, government recognises carers who are not just relatives.
Parents are defined as
the mother, father, adopter, guardian, special guardian, foster parent or private foster carer of the child or a person who has been granted a residence order in respect of a child; or married to or the partner or civil partner of the child's mother, father, adopter, guardian, special guardian, foster parent or private foster carer or of a person who has been granted a residence order in respect of a child (DFBERR, 2009, Part 1).
The flexible working policy provides an opportunity for an improved quality of life for eligible individuals. Employees who are parents and carers of adults can have a better work-life balance, with less fear of losing their job. Prior to the flexible working policy, parents only had a limited amount of time off through their maternity/ paternity leave policies. Once the benefits for these policies were used up, parents were faced with a tough decision. One parent, usually the mother, could decide to stay at home to take care of the child. This can be a debilitating experience for a parent, who may feel that their self-worth as a working member of society is diminished. The concept of a housewife or househusband in today's society is not favourable. The adjustment is not just psychological. Families with only one working parent have a significantly smaller income. This has a direct affect on the economy through less tax revenues. This also may put more pressure on the parent who is working to be the sole provider. The parent who is working may work extra hours to meet the family's financial obligations. Children