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Article:

Proposed new duties to publish employment policies

26 November 2018

As part of its industrial strategy, the Government is to consult on two proposals to help parents and carers in the workforce: the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) sees this as an important step in improving workforce productivity in the UK.

Duty to consider flexible working

BEIS has stated that allowing employees to work flexibly will help employers to retain trained and experienced staff when they have caring responsibilities. Clearly, being able to balance work and home responsibilities will also be attractive to potential recruits and BEIS argues that it will give employers ‘access to a wider pool of talent’.

While many employers already allow employees to work flexibly, BEIS will consult on how to make this the norm. The consultation will look at whether the Government should create a statutory duty for “employers to consider whether a job can be done flexibly, and make that clear when advertising.

Requirement to publish your parental leave and pay policies

In addition, the Government will launch a consultation on whether parents and other carers who are re-entering the workforce or considering a job move should have easy access to the parental leave and pay policies of prospective employers. This would be achieved by requiring all employers with 250 or more employees to publish their policies online.

BEIS points out that although job applicants can, of course, request such details from an employer, there is often concern amongst applicants that showing interest in such policies has the potential to result in discrimination against the applicant. Making it a statutory duty to publish these policies would allow applicants to make direct comparisons between employers and allow employers to ‘compete’ for the best employees.

BDO comment

As employment costs increase, employers are having to use a wider variety of tools to make themselves attractive to potential employees. If implemented, these proposals would place a further administrative burden on employers; however, there is scope to turn this to your advantage by creating policies tailored to attract and retain the best employees.

For help and advice on employment tax policies please contact Stephanie Wilson.

Employer Essentials Index