Coordination needed in delivery of proposed employment regulation

April 07, 2022

Ibec, the group that represents Irish business, has said that Government must ensure greater coordination in the delivery of proposed employment regulation.
Business supports a strong and balanced framework of employment rights.  However, the sheer scale of proposed employment regulation is creating challenges for business, most notably as it drives down opportunities for employers to offer flexibility and significantly drives up costs. At a time when businesses are facing into a difficult inflationary environment following a prolonged period of Covid disruptions, Ibec says it is imperative that such legislation be delivered through an effective coordination mechanism that manages them as an aggregate rather than the piecemeal fashion that we are currently witnessing.
Speaking ahead of the Ibec Employment Law Conference today, Maeve McElwee, Director of Employer Relations, said: “The theme of Ibec’s 2022 Employment Law Conference asks “What Next?” as businesses are faced with an onslaught of employment rights-based legislation just as they are moving from the disruption of Brexit and Covid into the kind of inflationary environment not seen for decades.
“Employers have been largely supportive of developing legislation that aids work-life balance and provides for greater employee security.  In supporting this agenda, employers have consistently sought a coordinated introduction of new rights such that time and capacity would be afforded to employers to plan for and absorb the costs and administrative burden of such legislation.
“Yet, as we emerge from Covid, with many sectors now hit with the rising costs associated with energy prices and increasing wage expectations, employers are being required to introduce in quick succession, Statutory Sick Pay, auto-enrolment for pensions, right to request remote working, new whistleblowing legislation and the promise of a Living Wage, among others.
“It is critical now that we reconsider this legislative burden in the broader context of coordination of social wage factors rather than incurring further government-imposed costs directly onto business.  Working with Labour Employer Economic Forum (LEEF), Ibec will seek to support a coordination of tax and social welfare policies which can bring benefits to employees through improved public services or benefits.  While it will have cost implications, if done effectively the approach can help offset wage demands and reduce the growing risk of wage-price spiral.”