Employers struggle with over-complex legislation

Employers struggle to comply with employment legislation because it is far
too difficult to understand and implement, research finds.

A survey of more than 6,000 employers by law firm Peninsula finds that 87
per cent report that employment legislation is too difficult to follow, while
only 27 per cent of those believe they fully comply with all HR laws in place.

More than 80 per cent of employers feel the chances of them being taken to
an employment tribunal are high.

Peter Done, managing director of Peninsula, said employers cannot follow the
laws because they are too difficult and should be simplified.

He cites the new right for parents to request flexible working – introduced
as part of the Employment Act on 6 April – as an example of the increasing
commitments employers face as a result of new employment law.

Other regulation on the horizon includes legislation later this year
outlawing discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation, religion and
belief and new rules for employers on consulting and informing with staff in

"Employers simply cannot follow employment legislation because it is so
complex, there is far too much of it and a balance needs to be sought of
extending the rights of workers and helping employers tackle new employment
legislation," he said.

The survey also reveals that more than 90 per cent of employers believe the
Government has imposed too much red tape.

And eight out of 10 respondents are not aware of their responsibilities
under forthcoming new legislation.

Done welcomed Patricia Hewitt’s recent announcement that new legislation
will be announced at the beginning of every year and introduced on only two
dates in April and October.

"If the Government sticks to what it promised by announcing legislation
to be introduced at the beginning of the year, this would help," he said.

By Ben Willmott


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