Working Time Regulations should be scrapped, urges CIPD

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) has called on the European Commission to repeal the Working Time Regulations (WTR) after more than one-quarter of employers named it as the legislation that most hinders their business.

The call comes as the European Commission conducts a review of the WTD legislation, which restricts the working week to 48 hours. The UK government successfully negotiated an opt-out to the rules last year, but the CIPD believes the law should be scrapped altogether.

Following today’s publication of CIPD/KPMG survey of 800 employers, which found that 28% believed the WTR was the legislation that was of most hinderance to their business, Mike Emmott, employee relations adviser at the CIPD, said: “We believe that the Working Time Regulations in particular have negligible value in limiting unhealthy workplace behaviour. We are, therefore, calling for its repeal in the context of the review currently being undertaken by the European Commission.”

The survey also shows that employers are not embracing fully the drive to encourage fathers to take more paternity leave. Only 40% of organisations offer working fathers two weeks’ pay at or near the full rate of pay, while 24% offer no paid paternity leave beyond the two-week statutory level.

For flexible parental leave to become a reality, there needs to be a “step-change” in the reward policies of UK organisations that encourages more fathers to take their statutory rights, according to Emmott.

“This is something that will only be achieved through cultural change – and legislation is emphatically not the answer,” he said. “The new government will have to think imaginatively if it is to nudge and lead this change.”

Employers are, however, more enthusiastic about other pieces of employment legislation. More than four in 10 believe that the Disability Discrimination Act (45%), the age discrimination regulations (42%), and the Data Protection Act (42%) have been helpful.

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