Little value in employee law

Marion Dakers
MANY employment laws have little value and should be repealed or amended, a report out today claims.

As the new government reviews flexible working rules, the report by business advisers KPMG and human resources group CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development) claims that one in four companies offer no more than the legal minimum of two weeks’ paternity leave.

In addition, only 40 per cent of firms offer full or near-full pay to fathers who use this leave. More than one in four firms (28 per cent) see the working time directive as a barrier to business, which coincides with the coalition government’s commitment to limit the use of this directive in last week’s final agreement between the Lib Dems and Tories.

Mike Emmott from CIPD said the directive has “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”.

Laws such as the age discrimination and data protection rules have been accepted by businesses, with more than four in ten companies describing them as helpful.

However, the report urges caution against straight-jacketing firms with more legislation.

“We need a step-change in the reward policies of UK organisations that encourages more fathers to take their statutory rights,” said Emmott.

“This is something that will only be achieved through cultural change – and legislation is emphatically not the answer.”