This month’s Employers’ Law news in brief

Scottish firms sack absentees

Almost two-thirds of employers in Scotland have dismissed staff for long-term absenteeism or for taking frequent sickies, according to research by law firm Shepherd Wedderburn. But 11% have received a tribunal claim in relation to the sacking. The poll also found that only 48% of businesses have a policy to combat bogus sick days. Overall, stress and fatigue are the main reasons for sickness, although drink or drug-related absence have both increased in the past 12 months.

Regulation cost increase

The cost of business regulations introduced since 1998 has now hit 50bn, according to figures published by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC). Its “burdens barometer” reports that the total cost has grown from 39bn in 2005 to 50bn this year. BCC director general David Frost said the costs damage the UK’s competitiveness and are unsustainable. The London and Manchester Business Schools say that about 69 major regulations have been introduced since 1998.

Discrimination banned in pubs

The government is moving to outlaw discrimination against gays and lesbians, by preventing employers and staff from withholding services. Restaurants, pubs and hotels would not be allowed to refuse service on the grounds of sexuality. The new laws will be added to the Equality Act.


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