HR outsourcers confident government toolkits won’t hit business

HR outsourcing firms have denied that their business will be hit by the government’s campaign to provide free employment law advice.

The Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform last month released a series of online tools to help employers understand legal requirements as part of its Employing People campaign, which aims to reduce employers’ administrative legal burdens by £365m a year by May 2010.

Chris Hannant, head of policy for employers’ group the British Chambers of Commerce, told Personnel Today that HR outsourcers may be facing a limited future because of the campaign.

“If this campaign is successful, there will be less questions and less enquiries to HR outsourcers, and probably less business for them,” he said.

But outsourcing firms insisted they would not face much competition from the new toolkits.

Nick Thompson, Ceridian’s director for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), said: “Just because you can self-diagnose an illness online doesn’t mean you can just replace the GP. Any tools are good for employers if they help cut through the red tape, but ultimately our view is that the toolkit won’t affect us.”

Dean Gardner, strategic HR outsourcing director for NorthgateArinso said: “It’s all well and good to provide advice, but SMEs need a lot more than that. How do you deal with the people element using a website or a calculator? You need more than that.”

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