Businesses have expressed their concern about the negative impact of employment legislation on how they recruit and manage their workforces in research released today.
Only days after the Government announced its latest raft of employment law reforms, the YouGov research, commissioned by recruitment company Brook Street, revealed that only 9% of respondents thought that existing legislation is fit for purpose. Meanwhile, 18% said that legislation was "over-engineered" and 16% said that it did not provide businesses with the flexibility they need.
Many employers that took part in the research said that they feel burdened by red tape and struggle to keep on top of new regulations. One example of this was the changes to pensions that come into force in October. Only 37% of respondents said that they felt ready for this, while more than a quarter (28%) said that they were not even aware of the legislation.
Respondents to the survey also revealed the impact that employment regulations have on their recruitment activities, with 40% of respondents saying that regulations deter them from taking on new people.
Almost two-thirds (62%) said that regulations have a negative effect on their business, with 16% saying that they make them nervous about dismissing underperforming employees and 16% expressing a fear of non-compliance.
Erika Bannerman, Brook Street sales and marketing director, said: "The complexities of employment legislation are placing a heavy burden on the shoulders of Britain's businesses. While steps are being taken to reduce red tape, it's clear from our conversations with businesses that many of them are still struggling.
"The fact that so many businesses are unprepared and even unaware of this important change in legislation is deeply worrying. It suggests that businesses may be struggling to keep on top of legislation much more than they realise. In an uncertain economy, and with layers of legislation to get through, it can be difficult to have the confidence to invest in people but with the right advice, the right strategy and the right people, the business benefits are clear."
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