Beecroft report proposals ‘could damage employee productivity’

Controversial report on employment law reform

A controversial government report containing recommendations that would make it easier for firms to sack under-performing staff could damage employee motivation and productivity, according to a group risk provider.

This week the government brought forward the publication of the Beecroft report on employment law after an earlier draft was leaked to the Daily Telegraph.

The report by venture capitalist Adrian Beecroft – which proposes allowing employers to make “no fault dismissals” and for smaller firms to be exempt from a raft of regulations – has caused fractions within the Coalition, with deputy prime minister Nick Clegg saying today he does not support the recommendations.

Paul Avis, sales and marketing director at Canada Life Group Insurance, said legislation needs to provide a balance between protecting employees and not hindering the growth of businesses.

He said: “Beecroft’s recommendations include allowing smaller firms to opt out of auto-enrolment, scrap flexible parental leave and bring back the default retirement age. 

“However, many of these measures – such as providing employees with a pension, and the ability to factor in busy lives around their work – actually help to improve employee motivation, which in turn can lead to increased productivity.”

Avis added that while profitability is at the top of the agenda for most businesses, they must also ensure they protect their employees and themselves, noting that group protection benefits are one way of doing so, particularly at a time when state support is being reduced.

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