91% view holiday pay laws as necessary

More than nine in 10 (91%) employer respondents view holiday pay laws as a necessary area of employment law, according to research by the Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development (CIPD) and law firm Lewis Silkin.

The Employment regulation in the UK: burden or benefit? report, which surveyed 508 employers, also found that 87% of respondents view national minimum wage regulations as a necessary aspect of employment law.

The research also found:

  • 68% of respondents feel that implementing employment law increases employees’ sense of fairness and trust in their employer, and 69% think that it improves the quality of employees’ working lives.
  • 88% of respondents view equal pay laws as necessary, and 82% believe parental rights at work is a necessary aspect of employment law.
  • 74% of respondents view the Working Time Regulations as necessary, and 82% believe employment status laws are necessary.
  • 69% of respondents feel that national minimum wage laws are well drafted and easy to apply, compared to 60% that believe this to be the case for holiday pay laws, 53% for employment status laws, and 46% for the right to request flexible working laws.
  • 47% of respondents consider national minimum wage laws to be supporting their organisation’s strategic HR or business goals.
  • 52% of respondents go beyond what is required when applying employment laws, and 44% meet the minimum requirements.
  • 44% cite a lack of resources as a barrier to implementing employment law, followed by too much legislation (34%), and a lack of awareness of legislative changes (31%).
  • 36% of respondents believe that wellbeing issues, such as workplace stress, should be the focus of future legislation to improve workplace protections.
  • 33% of respondents believe there should be further legislative changes around work-life balance and family-friendly policies to improve the protection and experiences of employees in the workplace, and 17% feel there should be legislative changes around employment status and the gig economy.

James Davies (pictured), divisional managing partner and joint head of employment at Lewis Silkin, said: “This research demonstrates just how much support there is among businesses for employment regulation which is well designed and well implemented. In the UK, we continue to enjoy the benefits of employment laws which achieve a balance between worker protection and business flexibility for which there is much support. Employment regulation and successful businesses are not mutually exclusive ideas.

“It is also clear that, however well intentioned, there are a number of existing regulations which [businesses feel] need revisiting to ensure that they are clear, more straightforward to implement, and truly fit for purpose.”

Rachel Suff, employment adviser at the CIPD, added: “This research shows that in many ways, the rhetoric around employment law simply does not match the reality. While much has been written about the need to roll back important aspects of our employment law framework to free businesses of red tape, it is clear that businesses themselves recognise the value of employment protection.

“Many of these regulations exist to protect workers against exploitation, ensure they are paid a fair wage and prevent discrimination in the workplace and can help improve people management practices. Even the more controversial aspects of employment law, such as the Working Time Regulations, have broad support from UK businesses.

“As we debate the future of employment regulation, both in the general election and in Brexit negotiations, it is vital that we don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater by making sweeping changes to employment legislation that businesses may not want.”