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Comment: Add lobbying to list of desirable HR skills

first_img Previous Article Next Article It is now evident that when the incoming Labour government proudly signedthe Social Chapter in 1997 it had no plan of how to implement the laws thatwould follow. Implementation has been characterised by a lack of planning,U-turns and amendments.The trouble is that Tony Blair and his trade and industry secretary StephenByers do not really like the Social Chapter, unlike many of their fellow Labourministers.This would not matter if the Government had thrashed out a compromise, anddeveloped a coherent strategy for implementation. Instead we have weakness,with the Government swinging one month towards the CBI; the next towards theunions, while trying to ignore the likely impact of European court decisions.The last month of 1999 was typical. The DTI passed the expected working timeamendments giving employers more flexibility. It was slipped out just beforeChristmas in the hope that controversy would be minimised (this page).But just as employers began to express relief that the promised changes weregoing through, the Advocate General came to a decision that could give morerights to employees and force yet another rewrite to the regulations. It wasdecided that time spent on-call and on the premises should count towards the48-hour maximum working week. This is likely to become European law, yet a weekafter the ruling, the DTI seemed unaware of its existence.It does not end with working time. Parental leave regulations in the UK arelikely to be changed if the European Court finds against the Irish governmenton the question of the qualifying date. Unions will be watching the forthcomingpart-time workers law, scheduled for April, for any discrepancies with Europeanrights.While the Government cannot control all these matters, it could easilyengage in more consultation before European law comes in, instead of stitchingtogether regulations which are amended almost immediately.Personnel professionals are increasingly aware of the need to learn businessskills. Perhaps lobbying and other political skills need to be added to thelist if we are to attain stable and workable law. Comment: Add lobbying to list of desirable HR skillsOn 11 Jan 2000 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. last_img

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