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Employment law perception at odds with reality, study shows

A new study commissioned by the government has revealed that the perception of employment law by British businesses does not tally with the actual impact of the legislation.


Employment Relations Minister Jo Swinson published The Employer Perceptions and Impact of Employment Regulation study, which found that many organisations who saw employment law as “burdensome” felt as they did due to a lack of understanding of the legislation.


One area of employment law that was seen as being particularly stressful and expensive for businesses was the dismissal process. Due to a lack of education regarding the process, many employers were going far beyond legal requirements in a bid to ensure they were meeting all necessary requirements.


Ms Swinson said: “The UK has one of the most lightly regulated and flexible employment systems in the world. What this study shows is that we need to work with employers to help them better understand their rights and responsibilities leaving them free to focus on growing their business.”


“Through the Government’s Employment Law Review we are reviewing existing legislation with the aim of providing clarity and certainty for business to give them the confidence to manage their workforce effectively,” the Minister went on to say.


The study aims to address business concerns regarding the dismissal process in particular, through encouraging a “greater use of settlement agreements”. Changes to employment tribunals will also be implemented in order to make them cheaper and easier to use.


Other areas of concern raised by employers was equality legislation – which was seen as impacting recruitment practices – and the Agency Workers Directive.

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