Same old story as we get 10-day deadline

Here we go again. The HR profession once again finds itself facing the implementation of far reaching changes to employment legislation without clear guidance being available.

We have the regulations and the explanatory notes. Well thank you very much but we all know it is practical guidance which we all want to impose some sense on what is the most complicated change to employment legislation under the current administration to date.

The importance cannot be underestimated. Employers up and down the country will today be presented with requests for recognition. They have to respond to that claim within 10 days.

How can the Government say it is serious about being the party of business when it is not providing the support to implement recognition rights in a professional and competent manner?

There is no political issue here. There are some companies and organisations which will fight to stave off recognition but there are equally employers that see the value in a constructive relationship with unions.

In either case ministers are making the process much more pained than it needs to be. The Government wants to promote partnership between employers and unions. But both sides need to know what parameters they are working under before they dive in.

It was in response to this weak legislative process that Personnel Today launched the campaign for better regulation with the Employers’ Forum on Statute and Practice. The aim of the campaign is to encourage government to improve the quality of consultation and implementation of the current wave of employment legislation. We want the Government to give HR professionals and employers a fair chance at implementing the complex changes.

Our initial protest grabbed the attention of the Department of Trade and Industry. Meetings were promised and concessions were made most notably on delaying the implementation of part time workers rights.

We laid off – thinking we had made our point.

But we were wrong. There are lessons here for us all. Making a noise works but the profession needs to become more vocal and remain vigilant if it is to overcome this complacency.

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