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Employment law: Employment organisations say new flexible working laws 'not necessary'

In light of the approaching deadline for the government's 'Modern Workplaces' consultation, two employment organisations have released reports stating that the new legislation is not the answer to providing efficient flexible-working solutions.

The government's proposals include extending rights to flexible working for new parents and for all workers employed for 26 consecutive weeks.

But the CBI and the EEF both agree that instead of introducing legislation, the government should set out its objectives and processes in flexible guidance or codes of practice, and that this same approach should be applied to EU directives.

John Cridland, director-general of CBI, said: "Traditionally when making employment law governments have tried to specify every last detail of what should go on in the workplace.

"With a strong base of employment rights already in place, we simply don't need the state telling us how to manage every aspect of basic human relations.

"The Government should adopt a simpler approach to future employment law, one which maximises choice for employers and staff and plays up the strengths of our flexible labour market."

Steve Radley, EEF's director of policy, said: "Manufacturers tell us that they achieve the flexibility that they and their employees are seeking by working increasingly closely with them. But they are concerned that the constant churn of new regulation and the complexity of new laws are putting these positive relationships at risk.

"Supporting flexibility must be a key part of the Government's growth strategy. To do this, it needs to send a clear signal that additional regulation will be the last rather than the first resort and ensure that any new measures are simpler and much less prescriptive than what we have seen in recent years."

Related links:
Read more on the story (Personnel Today)
Find out about flexible working and the law (FindLaw)
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