Employers put demands to UK’s next government

red tape, equal rights and learning dominate employers’ bodies manifestos

The CIPD is calling on the next government to hold a review on employment

is too much, it is too detailed and it gets in the way of effective,
entrepreneurial management, claims the representative body. It believes that
using further layers of regulation to influence change within business is not
an effective route.

CIPD also wants the Government to place the contribution of people management
to productivity much higher up the political agenda.

claims the HR profession has been given too little attention, and the direct
link between people management practices and productivity should be recognised.

institute also wants the next government to stop treating workplace training
and development as a poor relation. It says effective training characterises
high-performing organisations and it wants a greater focus on that.


Forum On Age
The Employers Forum on Age demands that the next government must remove the
age bars in its job creation, training and pay initiatives

EFA’s manifesto, End Ageism in Employment, also calls for exemplary policies on
age in the public sector to persuade private sector employers to adopt best

campaign director Sam Mercer said, "It doesn’t make sense for the
Government to perpetuate discriminatory practice by imposing arbitrary age bars
on access to training and employment programmes. If we are to encourage
employers to disregard age and concentrate on ability, the Government must
ensure its initiatives – from the New Deal to the Minimum Wage – do not
disadvantage individuals simply due to their age."

EFA is also calling for the development of age legislation and a campaign to
challenge age stereotypes in employment.

manifesto states that the age discrimination laws to be introduced by 2006 must
be workable, with clear guidance to ensure employers understand when a decision
may be unlawful.

wants greater flexibility and choice over retirement to address skill
shortages, pressure on pension funds and poverty in retirement.

laws must be reviewed to identify discrimination on age and efforts must be
made to raise employer awareness of the business benefits of employing and
training people of all ages.


Opportunities Commission
The Equal Opportunities Commission wants all the political parties to
embrace equality in their election campaigns

Mellor, chairwoman of the EOC, claims legislative reform is needed to root out
sex discrimination. "This government has acknowledged that women are wage earners
as well as mothers, and that men are fathers as well as breadwinners," she

until action is taken to ensure policy reflects that reality, then women will
continue to be concentrated in part-time, low-paid jobs, and men will remain
trapped in the long-hours working culture."

EOC wants the next government to strengthen the Equal Pay Act, requiring
employers to demonstrate that their pay systems are free of gender bias.

also wants new parents to be given a legal right to reduce their working hours,
as long as this will not damage their employer’s business.

also calls for a change in the law to allow political parties to use measures
such as twinning and quotas in the selection of their candidates, and feels
public bodies should have a duty to promote sexual equality.

wants inclusive and consistent legislation that offers the same protection
against discrimination on grounds of age, religion and sexual orientation as
are currently in force on grounds of sex, race and disability.


The CBI’s wide-ranging manifesto demands closer links between business and

wants a campaign launched to address the skills of adults, particularly the
long-term unemployed. "Business is convinced the Government must
concentrate on getting the foundations for lifelong learning right,"
claims the manifesto, called Towards 2010.

continues, "The Government should facilitate involvement with education at
all levels.

links with schools are already strong, business must have real influence in the
new Learning and Skills Councils, and links between higher education and
business must be strengthened."

manifesto also calls for the implementation of the fixed-term workers’ directive,
and further reform of the employment tribunal system to improve its efficiency.
It does not want any further employment relations legislation.

issues include allowing older employees to withdraw pensions while working
part-time and to implement the stakeholder pension scheme with a "light


The Institute of Directors calls for a reduction in the tax burden to allow
owners and managers to increase investment

IoD’s policy paper, A Framework for Competitiveness, states lower tax rates
would encourage entrepreneurs to set up and develop their own firms and help to
attract overseas investment in the UK.

also highlights the need to cut the amount of red tape facing employers and
stresses that new regulation should be introduced as a last resort.

IoD believes ministers should be under a duty to consider alternatives to
regulation such as codes of conduct, before introducing additional legislation.

manifesto states that guidelines to regulations for employers should be
succinct and greater use of "sunset clauses" should be made so that
unless regulations are renewed they will cease to apply at a set date.

IoD wants the Government to give employment tribunals greater freedom in
awarding costs to those employers who are exonerated at hearings in order to
compensate them for legal expenses they might have incurred when defending


of Management
The Institute of Management is calling on politicians to develop a culture
of lifelong learning

its Managers’ Manifesto on National Learning at Work Day last week, the
institute claimed that managers wanted to be more involved in the new organisations
that are responsible for delivering the National Skills Agenda.

Chapman, director general of the institute, said, "Whichever party forms
the next administration, it needs to build on what has already been done and
foster a culture of lifelong learning in the UK.

is only by investing in the continuous improvement of skills, knowledge and
learning that we can ensure the UK’s long-term prosperity and competitiveness."

manifesto also calls for a reduction in red tape and a commitment to tackling
payroll compliance costs. Chapman urged the next government to be more open
over the single currency and to address social responsibility through reviewing
company law and introducing reporting requirements.



four largest engineering trade bodies in the UK have called for a halt to the
flow of employment law

their manifesto, UK Manufacturing: The Future, the Engineering Employers
Federation, the Society of British Aerospace Companies, the UK Steel
Association and the Machine Tools Technologies Association want the Government
to stem the rising tide of litigation costs by not introducing more red tape.

Yeandle, deputy director of the EEF, is also calling for the EU to develop
flexible labour markets to promote the movement of workers across borders.

manifesto argues that issues such as work-life balance and consultation should
not prompt further regulation.

also wants employers to be fully compensated for administering maternity pay
and parental leave on behalf of the state.

four bodies are demanding Government funding for vocational programmes to allow
young people to develop crafts and technical skills, and tackle the skills
shortages in the sector.

priorities include an incremental research and development tax credit for large
firms and a performance review of the of regional development agencies.


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