Personnel Today links up with the EFSP to push for greater employer involvement in the introduction of new legislation - an area in which the Government has a bad track record, as Dominique Hammond reports
Any employer concerned about the forthcoming Part-time Workers directive has until 27 February to make their feelings known to the Government. The draft regulations were issued on 17 January, giving six weeks to get hold of the information, digest it, consult with others, formulate a response and get it in on time.
Employers are saying six weeks is not enough. It is, however, about twice as long as the recent consultation on the guidance to the amended Working Time regulations. Only an approximate time can be given for this because of the vagaries of the Christmas post.
In an open letter to DTI secretary Stephen Byers published last week (Personnel Today, 1 February) Robbie Gilbert, chief executive of the Employers' Forum on Statute and Practice (EFSP), warned that the Government is blighting the success of employment legislation by not allowing enough time for consultation with those who have to implement it. This week, Personnel Today with the EFSP launches a campaign to gain more time for employers to have their say.
David Yeandle, deputy director of employment policy at the Engineering Employers' Federation, said a minimum of two months is needed to provide members with information, receive replies and formulate an industry response.
More time is needed if the documents are complex. The consultation period on working time guidance closed on 21 January, only five weeks after it opened. Documents were sent out before the Christmas break - to a limited number of parties - but some did not arrive until the first or second week of January.
Yet, as Byers admitted at an IPD conference last July, the success of legislation depends on employers' input because only they can see how it will work in a day-to-day context.
Yeandle too believes employers' contribution to the legislation is valuable. "Civil servants write this stuff but it is up to us to bring them down to earth on what the practical implications are.
"One big success we had was persuading them to drop the need to include a statement of the minimum wage in every pay packet. That might have seemed a good idea to them but the practical impli