The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) says attaching pensions and training issues to statutory bargaining, within the Employment Relations Act will impose a 'legislative straightjacket' on firms'.
Criticism by the CBI follows the release of a government consultation paper to include pensions and training issues within the 'core' bargaining areas within the Act, currently consisting of pay, working hours and holidays, and as part of its honouring the Warwick Agreement.
The employer’s organisation believes this extension of the scope of statutory bargaining would undermine ‘stable employee relations’ handing unions a veto on the involvement by their staff in making pensions and training decisions.
CBI deputy director general, John Cridland says employers already actively consult with staff on pensions and training, adding however that a tailored approach provided the best results.
He says: “Introducing statutory bargaining rights over these areas would create a one-size-fits-all approach, binding companies and their employees into a legislative straightjacket.”
The CBI concludes businesses need no poke in the ribs to remind employees about mutually important issues, while also rebuking a rigid framework to do so.
The latest debate follows review of exactly the same legislation a year ago, with a verdict to not include pensions and training, based on the belief it would undermine the incentive on both sides to reach voluntary recognition agreements.
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