“But I don’t want to go among mad people,” Alice remarked.
“Oh, you can’t help that,” said the Cat: “we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.”
“How do you know I’m mad?” said Alice.
“You must be,” said the Cat, or you wouldn’t have come here.”
― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
There are times – many times – when I think I’m going mad and yesterday was one of them. The Department for Business Innovation & Skills published a study called The Employer Perceptions and Impact of Employment Regulation study.
The main finding of this report is “businesses that view employment law as burdensome often did so because of a lack of understanding of the law” and “Dismissal processes in particular were seen as stressful and costly with some employers going beyond legal requirements in the mistaken belief that such action was necessary.” Jo Swinson, the Employment Relations Minister went on to state that the UK has one of the “most lightly regulated and flexible employment systems in the world. 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.”
Amen to that last sentence. So why on earth have we had two years of consultations and reforms if the current system is so lightly regulated and flexible? Why not concentrate on educating employers given the study apparently found that “employers who maintain formal working practices are more confident about compliance and do not see employment regulation as burdensome. Employers who work informally and only react to when a problem comes up are worried about litigation and compliance”.
What can you say?