Personnel Today’s decision this week to launch a campaign with the EFSB for
better regulation is born out of the growing frustration of the HR profession.
Poor consultation, botched implementation and hasty rewriting of regulations
has characterised the last 18 months.
There has been a continuing hum of protest but little done in response.
Challenged with the concerns of HR professionals, this week the DTI came out
with a list of excuses. Apparently it only gave employers two weeks to implement
parental leave regulations because it did not make many changes from the
consultation. Unbelievable. We obviously knew in advance the Government was not
going to alter the regulations. Politicians never change their minds – and HR
managers are psychic.
The latest fiasco is the consultation over part-time workers. The DTI claims
it deliberately kept the paper short to make it readable. The so-called light
touch. But a consultation that does not go into detail is of little use to the
people who have to implement the law.
The Government has known since 1998 that the law, implementing a European
directive, has to be in place by May 2000 – so why wait until January 2000 to
launch a consultation period lasting just six weeks?
We could spend weeks trading accusations about this and other misdemeanours.
But the time has come to start afresh.
The list of major changes to employment legislation to be implemented in the
next two years is huge – union recognition, rights for workers on fixed term
contracts and part-time staff, changes to Tupe and stakeholder pensions. The
objectives of the campaign are asking for a clear well paced approach to
implementing these and other legislative changes. This is not a protest about
the amount of legislation – that is a separate debate. The profession just
wants a fair chance to implement changes properly.
Accepting the campaign’s objectives would not slow down legislation. It
could all be managed within 12 months. This is a minimum. Ideally there needs
to be more time. After all, Europe gives domestic government’s two years to
So here’s the deal. Involve the profession and listen to what they have got
to say and they will do their best to make your policy objectives work.