Another crazy EU idea

If all things were equal, it would not be such a crazy idea to consider
leaner redundancy rules for those employers investing heavily in training (see
page 1).

The thinking is that businesses committed to lifelong continuous training
produce employees who find it easier to get new jobs, and therefore should be
liable to pay less in redundancy compensation.

If only life were that simple. This latest rumour to emerge from the EC is
just another example of EU bureaucrats doomed to failure. The stark cultural
and regulatory differences between European countries alone are enough to stop
this idea in its tracks.

Germany, for instance, has far tighter employment practices than the UK, and
its employers face extortionate redundancy bills. The UK, by contrast, gets
away with lighter redundancy costs even though it rarely feels like it at the
time. The recording and reporting of investment in learning and development is
woefully inadequate, so how could you measure it meaningfully and identify
those employers who champion it?

Nevertheless, it’s no bad thing that the EU has the confidence to consider
the unthinkable and stimulate a debate. Challenging the status quo is something
all businesses need to do more often.

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