I'm not sure if I agree with the opponents of employment law reform

19 Jan 2012

Helen Giles

I'm not so sure about this, since I fear there may be a causal link between the application of disciplinary and capability procedures and the latest well-publicised concern that stress-related absence is now the leading cause of sickness absence in the UK.

I say this because in my experience of working with voluntary and public sector organisations as an advisor, something like seven out of 10 employees told they will be subject to these procedures become ill with stress and get signed off by their GPs, often for several months.

It's a real worry that procedures designed to protect individuals' rights and interests could in fact be making them ill...


I'm backing the campaign to get together those who have an interest in reforming employment legislation

07 Dec 2011

Helen Giles

Sian Harrington is right to place her bet that reform of regulation of itself won't bring about employment recovery. But I believe it would make a significant contribution in a whole variety of ways. One example is the amount of time and money spent by public authorities on compliance with regulations that add nothing to service and social outcomes: reform would enable those bodies to become more efficient at a time when they are being forced to reduce staff.

My second example concerns the reluctance of many employers to take on as apprentices high risk groups such as young people who have had not previously had the opportunity to learn the work ethic when they have a disproportionate array of rights and protections from Day One.

Those of us advocating reform are doing so because we believe that it will be in everybody's best interests at the end of the day, including employees and those who want to find work, not because we want unfettered power for employers.

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