A campaign to help organisations save time and money on employment costs has been well received by industry groups.
The Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (Berr) has launched the Employing People campaign, which aims to promote £365m savings per annum within two years, by reducing unnecessary duplication of materials and wasted effort.
Berr claimed it was committed to reducing employment law admin burdens on businesses after research by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) found small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) spend an average of seven hours a week just filling in forms, and that they struggle to understand the complicated ins and outs of employment law.
Part of the government’s scheme will direct firms to Business Link, the agency set up to help SMEs prosper, which supplies online tools, calculators and interactive guides to help employers understand their legal obligations and reduce repetition.
Alan Tyrell, chair of the employment law policy committee at the FSB, said: “Saving small business owners time and money through reducing administrative burden is always warmly welcomed by the FSB. Berr’s simplistic approach to demystify employment law is a promising guide for what can be a cumbersome process.”
The British Chambers of Commerce and CBI agreed anything the government could do to help simplify employment law, particularly for smaller businesses, was much needed. Mike Emmott, policy adviser at the Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development, added employers needed clear, easily accessible advice on employment law and practice.
But director-general of the British Retail Consortium, Stephen Robertson, said the move was especially important as the credit crunch hits high streets hard.
“Employers can’t afford to throw away money by getting caught up doing unnecessary paperwork. So we welcome the government’s moves to help employers to save on their employment law obligations.”
Employment relations minister Pat McFadden admitted complying with legislation can be “complex”, but stressed complying with employment law was often easier than business owners think. “Instead of spending money on buying in professional advice on employment law, employers can get access to a range of easy-to-use, fully compliant documents that take only a few minutes to complete [using Business Link].”