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Paternity changes ‘will impact on firms’

4 April 2011

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Many firms believe employment law changes including extending paternity leave and scrapping the default retirement age will be detrimental to business, according to a survey.

More than half of the 1,300 firms polled by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) said they thought the paternity leave changes would affect their business.

Meanwhile one in five said scrapping the default retirement age would be detrimental and make it difficult for them to manage their workforce after the age of 65.

David Frost, Director General of the BCC, said: “In the face of promises by the government to listen to the needs of business and cut red tape, these two new pieces of employment regulation will hit businesses hard.

“The Budget revealed a policy to exempt start-ups and existing firms with fewer than 10 employees from new domestic regulation, but this week’s changes show there is an urgent need to review and scale back policies already on the statute books.

“The government must go a step further and show all businesses that it is serious about deregulation. Arguably, any exemptions should include a wider scope of firms, not just micros.

“Our survey results show that employment law changes are causing great concern among employers, who, instead of concentrating on running their business, have to cope with more and more shifts in employment law. Every change, no matter how small, costs employers time and money.

“Unless practical steps are taken to help free businesses from red tape, the burden on employers will only increase, and barriers to job creation and economic growth will remain.”

TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said: “The extension of family-friendly working over the last decade has helped to drive record employment rates for working families, which businesses have hugely benefited from.

“Good employers should have nothing to fear from these employment changes, which have been consulted on extensively over the last few years.”

Copyright © Press Association 2011

British Chambers of Commerce

Your comments (terms and conditions apply):

“We have several ‘post retirement age’ employees – they are great. If someone becomes unable to their job for whatever reason hold a competency hearing. Managers should already be capable of doing so, I admit the paternity stuff is a pain but given the number of female GPRs think that general practice will be hit less than some other organisations” – Name and address withheld