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GOVERNMENT MUST CONSULT WITH UK BUSINESS ON LEGISLATION SAYS HAYS

GOVERNMENT MUST CONSULT WITH UK BUSINESS ON LEGISLATION SAYS HAYS

Hays, the leading recruiting expert, says the government must do more to provide clarity on how to implement changes to employment law, as well as taking greater steps to consult with UK business on new legislation in the future.

On Wednesday the 6th of April a range of new legislation will come into force representing significant changes to UK employment practices. Employers will now have to make amends to their flexible working and retirement policies at a time of continuing economic uncertainty. These new laws follow significant extension to paternity leave that came into force on the 3rd of April.

The right to request flexible working will now be extended to parents of children under the age of 18 this currently applies to parents of children under the age of 17, or 18 if the child is disabled. The government also intends to extend the right to request flexible working to all employees.

Commenting on the upcoming changes Charles Logan, Director of Hays says, There is no doubt that flexible working can be a key tool in attracting and retaining staff. However Hays has found that many organisations already offer flexible working policies to support their employees, therefore the decision to create an additional administrative burden, legislating a move in practice that is already underway should be questioned. Small businesses, on whose continued growth the UK is reliant, will struggle the most with this burden as they do not have the HR resources of larger companies.

At the same time new transitional arrangements to abolish the default retirement age come into force, employers will now be unable to issue new notifications of retirement. There is no doubt that older workers have a significant value to add to organisations, especially with so many skills shortages across different sectors. However relying on an ageing workforce to pick up the slack for an ill trained younger workforce is not a longer term option. With youth unemployment at an all time high it is clear much more needs to be done to address the skills gap of the younger generation, enabling Britain to compete within the knowledge economies on a global scale.

Both the changes to flexible working and the retirement age represent a significant burden on businesses at a time when they are struggling to create new jobs. The government must do more to provide clarity on how to implement changes. It must also take steps to consult with the UK business community on what legislation is needed and what can be supported right now.

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