Employment laws mean growing headache for businesses
FIGURES released recently by the Federation of Small Businesses show that UK small businesses are facing a growing headache because of the complexity of employment law.
The FSB provides a free legal helpline for its members to call when they have queries about employment legislation. And the helpline saw an overall rise in the number of calls of eight per cent in 2006 with over 76,000 calls coming in last year at an average rate of over 200 per day.
The main areas of concern that have seen large increases since 2005, were:
• Age Discrimination – up 664%;
• Information and Consultation – up 439%;
• Part Time Workers up 68%;
• Pensions 23%;
• Retirement 88%; and
• Other forms of discrimination such as on religious or sexual orientation grounds by 92% and 56% respectively.
The rise in queries on discrimination topics is due to new or proposed legislation on age, religion and sexual orientation. The increase in questions on pensions and retirement is down to proposed Government moves to act on pension provision for all workers. More calls have come in regarding information and consultation also because of changes in flexible working and age discrimination rules, requiring firms to inform and consult their workers on these issues.