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Bad HR is big risk to SMEs

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Primary research commissioned by Monahans Business Bureau reveals that small and medium enterprises (SMEs) across the South West of England do not fully understand changing employment legislation. [body] Respondents were asked what impact developments in HR legislation would have on their employee relations and their wider businesses. Among the findings were some statistics that the government may find alarming: 74 percent were unaware that the amount of leave parents can take unpaid has risen from 13 to 18 weeks; 78 percent believed that changes in employment law had no impact on their business in the last 12 months; 63 percent don’t believe that changes in employment legislation in the coming 12 months will impact on their business; 91 percent were not aware that they can contribute to the debate about changes in employment legislation. Only 2.25 percent that were aware did so using forums as their platform 52 percent were unaware of proposals permitting employers to have “protected conversations” with employees with a view to terminating employment.

Commenting on the research findings, Peta Fry, HR Director of Monahans, said, “It is clear that communication with SMEs regarding changes in employment legislation is an issue. We understand that it’s hard for businesses to keep up to date with legislation changes and identify what is relevant to them. That’s why, at Monahans, we issue quarterly newsletters and ad-hoc alerts, informing clients of changes in legislation that apply to their business.” The study was conducted by MHA, the UK association of accountancy and business advisory firms, in the second quarter of 2013. The sample comprised of organisations who have between 3 and 120 employees in the manufacturing, technology, distribution, charity and education sectors. Respondents were asked what impact developments in HR legislation would have on their employee relations and their wider businesses.

Among the findings were some statistics that the government may find alarming: 74 percent were unaware that the amount of leave parents can take unpaid has risen from 13 to 18 weeks; 78 percent believed that changes in employment law had no impact on their business in the last 12 months; 63 percent don’t believe that changes in employment legislation in the coming 12 months will impact on their business; 91 percent were not aware that they can contribute to the debate about changes in employment legislation. Only 2.25 percent that were aware did so using forums as their platform and 52 percent were unaware of proposals permitting employers to have “protected conversations” with employees with a view to terminating employment The Government wants to encourage businesses to comment on red tape, with employment legislation seen as a key topic. However, as, the study showed, more than nine out of ten businesses do not feel able to engage. Commenting on the research findings, Peta Fry, HR Director of Monahans, said, “It is clear that communication with SMEs regarding changes in employment legislation is an issue. We understand that it’s hard for businesses to keep up to date with legislation changes and identify what is relevant to them. That’s why, at Monahans, we issue quarterly newsletters and ad-hoc alerts, informing clients of changes in legislation that apply to their business.”

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