Employers’ groups have broadly welcomed the Department of Trade and Industry’s new Employment Strategy, published yesterday, although they warned that the government will be judged on actions, not words.
The DTI has promised to fully review the impact of all employment laws on companies, with a view to simplifying legislation and improving guidance, focusing in particular on maternity leave and pay, redundancy and dispute resolution.
John Cridland, the CBI’s deputy director-general, said: “Employers will take today’s announcements as the end of the road for significant new employment legislation this parliament, signalling instead a refocusing on informing employees, especially vulnerable ones, of their rights.
“The commitment to reduce the red-tape burden from existing employment rights is good news for companies, their staff and the economy as a whole. But as ever, business will judge the government on what it actually delivers.”
The CBI’s latest Employment Trends Survey found clear evidence of the burden that new employee rights are placing on business.
Three-quarters of firms said management time is increasingly being spent on administrative measures to do with compliance and 39% said the UK’s reputation as a place to do business is being damaged.
EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation, welcomed the government’s intention not to change industrial action laws or take other measures that would damage employability or competitiveness in the UK.
David Yeandle, deputy-director of employment policy at EEF, said: “While the government’s stated policy objective to reduce the cost and complexity of employment law will be welcomed by manufacturers, we will need to monitor closely its implementation to ensure this objective is achieved.”