SMEs ignorant of employment law

Nearly half of small and medium sized businesses struggle to
keep on top of employment legislation a study has revealed.

A survey by Mori on behalf of consultancy businesshr finds
that only 29 per cent of SMEs have formal policies on bullying, 45 per cent on
sexual harassment and 51 per cent on substance abuse.

The research also shows just 75 per cent have training and
development plans and 62 per cent a formal appraisal system.

Ian Stobie, managing director of businesshr, said, “Ignorance
of the law is no defence and can lead to devastating consequences for small
business. For example, a recent successful industrial tribunal claim for stress
exceeded £200,000 and health and safety non compliance can result in the
immediate closure of the business and unlimited fines.

“Skills shortages and the rising cost of recruiting staff
mean that it is vital for SMEs to retain key staff if companies wish to grow.
Throwing money at someone who is bored will not buy their commitment or ensure
consistent, outstanding performance. SMEs must get out of the mindset that
money is the main attraction for employees and put HR practices in place to
retain staff.”

By Ben Willmott. Click
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