New legislation leaves UK employers in the dark

A woeful lack of awareness of forthcoming European legislation is putting
employers at risk of expensive claims in the future, a survey by the Chartered
Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) and law firm Hammonds has found.

The research highlights a general dearth of knowledge around European laws
and the impact they will have on UK businesses.

The results of survey found the majority of companies are completely
unprepared for impending regulations.

New regulations prohibiting discrimination on the grounds of religion or
sexual orientation come into force next month are proving a particular
blind-spot for employers.

An alarming 34 per cent of HR professionals had either no plans to change
policy and comply with the rules, or were unaware the new legislation existed.

Just 14 per cent of the 250 firms questioned said their organisation had
plans to change policies or working practices to meet the provision in the new

Sue Nickson, the report’s author and head of employment law at Hammonds,
said companies were becoming complacent because of the plethora of new
legislation introduced in the past few years.

"The average employer must feel bombarded. But the one thing they don’t
want to be is a test case for new laws like this. The results are extremely
worrying and suggest employers remain in the dark about European law
generally," she said.

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