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Business perceptions of employment legislation are at odds with the actual impact of legislation according to a new government commissioned study published by Employment Relations Minister Jo Swinson.

The Employer Perceptions and Impact of Employment Regulation study found that businesses that view employment law as burdensome often did so because of a lack of understanding of the law. Dismissal processes in particular were seen as stressful and costly with some employers going beyond legal requirements in the mistaken belief that such action was necessary.

Other report findings showed:

  • when recruiting staff, employers said their main focus was finding the best candidate with the desired education, experience and skills. Equality legislation, recruiting migrant workers and the Agency Workers Directive were all raised by employers as impacting recruitment practices;
  • employers who maintain formal working practices are more confident about compliance and do not see employment regulation as burdensome. Employers who work informally and only react to when a problem comes up are worried about litigation and compliance;
  • micro, small and medium sized businesses who had little internal HR expertise saw employment regulation as complex and inaccessible to people who lacked a background in law or HR; and
  • medium and large businesses were proactive in learning about legislation and keeping up to date with changes and use sources such as Direct.gov and Acas. Smaller businesses are more reactive and only sought information if a problem arose and say the media is their main source information about changes to legislation.

 

Apprenticeships are more beneficial to employers and employees than any other vocational training programme, according to employment experts from the University of Warwick.

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