CBI claims extending statutory bargaining would lead to conflict

Proposals to extend the scope of statutory bargaining within the workplace would impose a “legislative straightjacket” on company discussions with employees on pensions and training, the CBI said today.

The Government has launched a consultation into whether or not pensions and training issues should be included within the core bargaining areas defined in the Employment Relations Act.

Under the Act as it stands the Central Arbitration Committee can impose a legally binding procedure on matters relating to pay, hours and holidays if employers and unions cannot agree.

The CBI’s response to the consultation, which was published today, said that an extension would undermine stable employee relations and give unions a veto on an individual’s involvement in pension and training decisions.

CBI deputy director general, John Cridland, said: “Employers are already active in consulting employees on pensions and training, but it is a tailored approach that delivers the best results.

“The Government must not let unions have a veto on individual involvement in pension and training decisions,” he said. “Business needs no encouragement to talk to staff about these mutually important issues.”

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