Legislation good for business

It sounds strange but after years of complaining about the burden of red tape, employers are saying that employment legislation can be good for business, according to recent research.

The survey into employment and the law was conducted by the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development (CIPD) and law firm Lovells and shows two-thirds of employers believe existing employment legislation has helped them treat their employees more fairly and earn their trust.

Furthermore, around 80% found legislation helped them to adopt ‘positive employment practices’ and half the respondents regarded it as an ‘essential standard’. The Disability Discrimination Act, the Race Relations Act, the Sex Discrimination Act and the Right to Request flexible working legislation were all cited as good legislation.

However, it was not all good news for red tape as the survey highlighted poor consultation, clumsy drafting of legislation and inadequate guidance from the powers that be on introducing new laws.

“Clearly employers recognise the need for some legislation and in some cases they find it can actually benefit the business by driving the development of policies and practices that can help them recruit, retain and motivate employees, commented Ben Willmott, CIPD Employee Relations Adviser. “But debate remains over the amount of red tape and the need for the Government to simplify the legal duties facing employers.”

“Our survey results show that businesses are generally willing to adopt the new requirements as good business practice,” said David Harper of Lovells, “provided they are given clear and helpful guidance on the application of the new laws.”

The full survey will be published on 29 June. For more information go to www.cipd.co.uk.

Marc Barber

Marc Barber

Marc was editor of GrowthBusiness from 2006 to 2010. He specialised in writing about entrepreneurs, private equity and venture capital, mid-market M&A, small caps and high-growth businesses.

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