If all things were equal, it would not be such a crazy idea to consider leaner redundancy rules for those employers investing heavily in training (see page 1).
The thinking is that businesses committed to lifelong continuous training produce employees who find it easier to get new jobs, and therefore should be liable to pay less in redundancy compensation.
If only life were that simple. This latest rumour to emerge from the EC is just another example of EU bureaucrats doomed to failure. The stark cultural and regulatory differences between European countries alone are enough to stop this idea in its tracks.
Germany, for instance, has far tighter employment practices than the UK, and its employers face extortionate redundancy bills. The UK, by contrast, gets away with lighter redundancy costs even though it rarely feels like it at the time. The recording and reporting of investment in learning and development is woefully inadequate, so how could you measure it meaningfully and identify those employers who champion it?
Nevertheless, it's no bad thing that the EU has the confidence to consider the unthinkable and stimulate a debate. Challenging the status quo is something all businesses need to do more often.
Want to be in the premier division?
Lloyds TSB earns widespread acclaim this week for being the top performer in the Race for Opportunity league table. This represents a network of 180 UK organisations working on race and diversity as a business agenda.
The achievements of all the organisations in this network highlights the ever-widening gap between the 'haves' and the 'have-nots' on race. The star employers for Race for Opportunity understand that diversity is about competitiveness, not just equal opportunities and compliance. But as Personnel Today and DLA's research recently showed, there are hundreds of others who have not bought into the message at all.
Join Race for Opportunity now, and start tracking your progress. This organisation will help you monitor, measure, share and learn. See www.raceforopportunity.org.uk