CBI calls for greater workplace flexibility

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has called for greater flexibility in the workplace in order to foster economic growth, but opposes the scrapping of the retirement age.

In a new report, Making Britain the Place to Work, the UK business group highlights the importance of the UK’s flexible labour market and the key role it played in minimising job losses during the recession.

The CBI also supports making the right to request flexible retirement more effective, however, it opposes the scrapping of the default retirement age (DRA).

John Cridland, CBI deputy director-general, said: “Employers do not know how they would work with [the scrapping of the DRA].”

He explained that if the performance of staff dropped due to old age there would be a great difficulty in using capability reviews because it is almost impossible to do this with dignity for older staff.

In addition, when new rights are brought in they often benefit nine out of ten people, said Cridland. However, he pointed out for the tenth person it created an opportunity to challenge the right in court. “And litigation is not the way to deal with retirement,” he said.

The proposals, aimed at ensuring Britain’s labour market is best placed to sustain businesses and jobs during the recovery, include embracing more flexible working, blocking regulations that will cost jobs and changing industrial relations legislation.

Cridland said: “As we enter a period of fragile recovery, we need to do everything we can to create a jobs market that works for Britain, and to ensure Britain is the place to work.”

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