Fixed legislation dates could lead to sloppy laws

Employers
are concerned that the Government’s decision to introduce all employment
legislation on two set dates could lead to workplace laws being rushed.

Trade
and industry secretary Patricia Hewitt announced last week that all domestic
employment legislation would come into effect on 6 April and 1 October.

The
move – to simplify employment laws for firms and cut red tape and bureaucracy –
began this week with the Employment Act , which became law on Sunday (6 April).
At the moment, it covers all domestic legislation and  European directives will be included from 2006.

Speaking
at the British Chambers of Commerce annual conference, Hewitt also said the DTI
will publish an annual statement of forthcoming legislation every January from
next year.  

However,
the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) is concerned the
decision could prove impractical.

Diane
Sinclair, CIPD lead adviser on public policy said: "There is a risk
legislation will be rushed through to meet deadlines. A number of changes at
one time could cause problems. Staged changes would be more helpful."

Ed
Hilderbrant, HR manager at Panasonic, agreed: "It is marginally more
positive than negative because it should make legislation easy to track. But I
am concerned that if the Government has a deadline then it might rush through
the legislation with out proper consultation and guidance for employers."  

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