Non-compliance over Act is not an option

first_img Comments are closed. So,the Employment Act has finally arrived – and it is the largest chunk ofemployment law ever to be embodied within one Act.Fromnext week, staff will have the right to request to work flexibly and will beable to request information on the pay of members of the opposite sex insimilar roles using equal pay questionnaires. Yes,it will mean more form filling, but it is difficult to argue against theprinciples behind this legislation. Once we had failed to enable enough staffto strike a healthy work-life balance and to reduce the gender pay gap, thislegislation was inevitable.  Whatis not inevitable is the strengthening of this law in the future. TheGovernment has warned employers that if they do not comply with theseregulations then it will toughen them up. Half-heartedcompliance will not be enough. While it will be possible for a streetwiseemployer to comply without actually having to accommodate any requests, wherewould that leave us? Itwould leave us with a 19 per cent pay gap, a destructive long-hours workculture and the prospect of additional, more inflexible legislation. Therewould be a real likelihood of mandatory equal pay audits and compulsoryflexible working arrangements.    Employershave to accept that a flexible, equally paid workforce is a strength. HR knowsthe benefits this would deliver on recruitment, retention and branding, but wehave failed to convince everyone else. It is a huge communication challenge andit has to go beyond writing a policy. The business case must be sold to theboard and to line managers, and the message has to be that it can be a sourceof competitive advantage. Wemust not give the Government another excuse to ride roughshod over the businesslobby because, despite their protestations (see page 15), it will lead to moreof the poorly implemented red tape that is currently strangling business.ByMike Broad, Assistant Editor Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article Non-compliance over Act is not an optionOn 31 Mar 2003 in Personnel Todaylast_img read more