Examination of Witnesses

Part of Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 10:40 am on 19 June 2012.

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Tim Thomas: Employment burdens are a serious issue for employers of all sizes, particularly in the manufacturing sector. Our members operate in a global marketplace where flexibility among the labour force is so important for them to retain their global competiveness. Some of the measures in the Bill will help improve that global competiveness and improve employer flexibility. For example, our members tell us that one of the issues that they have is dealing with older workers and ascertaining when they intend to retire. It is a logical fear of employers that having discussions with older workers may give rise to claims for discrimination. If, as part of this Bill, we can have enshrined a provision that will allow employers to have a conversation with elder workers in an adult way, which helps them plan for their work forces of the future—we are talking about succession planning and bringing more apprentices on—and in a secure place for employers, that will encourage growth and lead to more jobs.