Paperwork cuts save time and money
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Date: 02 Dec 2008
Businesses are saving an estimated £418 million a year from the costs of
dealing with employment law, new research has found.
Free advice and simple online tools have helped firms cut the time and money
they spend on compliance. More than a million small firms have been contacted by
the Department for Business in a campaign to tackle the administrative costs of
dealing with six key areas of employment law.
The estimated savings are a substantial increase on previous expectations of
£365 million saved by May 2010.
Employment Relations Minister Pat McFadden said:
"Our ambitious programme to cut the costs of regulation on business is
already achieving positive results, but there is still more we can do.
"For example, new changes to dispute resolution that will cut costs further
were approved by Parliament last month.
"Giving businesses free and clear advice cuts their costs because if they are
getting good advice free from the Government they have to spend less on outside
consultants. It also helps make sure workers' rights are respected.
"In the present economic climate we are focussed on doing everything we can
to help business, without harming rights at work."
The impact of the Employment Guidance Programme, which started in 2005, was
praised by an independent panel including the CBI, British Chambers of Commerce
and Trades Union Congress, in particular its commitment to make a real
difference for business on the ground.
Research firm ORC surveyed more than 1000 companies earlier this year. Their
findings point to big cuts in the amount of money spent by business on
* Maternity and paternity leave and pay
* Flexible working time applications
* Working time and 48-hour opt-out record keeping
* National Minimum Wage
The research also found that 74% of businesses found compliance easy, up from
51% in 2005. Just 8% still found compliance difficult.
A key part of the Employment Law Guidance Programme has been helping firms
avoid unnecessary and costly over-compliance with regulation.
As well as contacting employers directly with advice and support, the
programme has created new online tools and sample forms to help show employers
what they need to do quickly and clearly. A direct mailing campaign has reached
more than a million small businesses, including 700,000 contacted last month.
Notes to Editors
1. Popular sources of free information for businesses include
http://www.businesslink.gov.uk, the Department for Business and ACAS.
2. The Employment Law Guidance Programme is part of cross-Government efforts
to reduce the costs of regulation on business.
3. Departments and agencies across government have agreed targets to cut the
cost to businesses of administering regulation by 2010. They will publish
updated simplification plans later this month, showing the amount cut from
business burdens and progress towards their 2010 targets.
4. The Employment Act, which gained Royal Assent last month, will introduce a
new statutory ACAS code on dispute resolution, helping workers and businesses
resolve complaints before needing to go to a tribunal.
5. The government has also given ACAS up to £37m more in its budget over the
next three years to handle its increased role.
6. Examples of how individuals and businesses are benefiting from changes to
regulation can be found at
http://www.betterregulation.gov.uk . The site also invites suggestions for
what else can be done to reduce red tape.
About the Author
© Crown Copyright. Material taken from the BERR- Department
for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform replacing DTI - Department for
Trade and Industry. Reproduced under the terms and conditions of the Click-Use
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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2008-12-03 16:15:37 in Business Articles