Employer perceptions of employment law

The recently completed study ‘Employer Perceptions and Impact of Employment Regulations’ has found that businesses have a lack of understanding of employment law and as a result of this view it as burdensome.  Dismissals were highlighted as a particular area where employers saw the law as stressful and costly with some employers going beyond what was required of them as a result of this lack of understanding.

The report found, among other things, that:

  • Employers who had written employment policies were more confident that they were compliant with regulation than employers who operated more informally
  • Micro, small and medium sized businesses with little internal HR expertise regarded employment regulation as complex and inaccessible
  • Reducing regulatory burdens on small employers may not be effective in addressing their anxieties, since their perceptions of employment law often do not reflect reality, and they have an “inflated idea” of the risks of dismissing employees

Employment Relations Minister, Jo Swinson has commented:

“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 businesses to give them the confidence to manage their workforce effectively.”

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