Employment rights/relations and
better regulation
Presented by
Tom Evans
Assistant Director, Employment Relations
Employment rights/relations and better regulation
Overview
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Objectives of better regulation
Devolution: the challenge
Devolution: the opportunities
Better engagement
A co-ordinated approach
Forthcoming developments
Q&A
Employment rights/relations and better regulation
Objectives of better regulation
 Two key ingredients critical to future of NI economy:
successful businesses and a skilled and motivated
workforce
 Better regulation does not necessarily mean less
regulation, but regulation that is
Fit for purpose
Proportionate
Facilitates business success
Sets appropriate protections/standards
Employment rights/relations and better regulation
Devolution: the challenge
 Devolution challenges Government to engage
meaningfully with local stakeholders to develop a
framework that is responsive to NI needs
 Local accountability: more intense scrutiny of policy
decisions rightly places increased pressure on
Departments and Ministers to get decisions right
 Key stakeholders also face pressures from those they
represent to lobby effectively
 We all need to redouble efforts towards proper and
meaningful mutual engagement
Employment rights/relations and better regulation
Devolution: the opportunities
 DEL committed to playing its role in better regulation
 Opportunity to involve stakeholders from the outset,
to develop local solutions to local problems
 Parity or EU requirements may constrain or drive
local policy
 Even if not, it is appropriate pay heed to
developments in GB and assess implications for NI
 Departments are rightly required to give detailed
consideration to a range of options, considering
regulatory impacts and possible alternatives
Employment rights/relations and better regulation
Better engagement
 DEL considering how it can engage more effectively
with the business community – and in particular
SMEs – to better understand concerns and reduce
complexity of compliance
 Information seminars will be held to raise awareness
of certain forthcoming legislation and to provide an
opportunity for DEL to hear feedback
 DEL also seeking to develop a more robust research
base to assist with policy development
Employment rights/relations and better regulation
A co-ordinated approach
 Joined-up approach across Government to better
regulation – NIbusinessinfo.co.uk, NIdirect.gov.uk –
feedback welcomed
 Joint efforts towards rationalising inspection, with the
aim of reducing inconvenience to business
 Removal of unnecessary burdens on the recruitment
sector through recent legislative change
 Employment agency inspectorate works closely with
other authorities – GLA and HMRC NMW inspectors
 Must avoid a “one size fits all” approach
Employment rights/relations and better regulation
Developments over the past year
 DEL policy response to dispute resolution review
 Introduction of Additional Paternity Leave and Pay
(effective for children expected to be born or adopted
in April 2011)
 Deregulatory measures introduced for Recruitment
Agencies
 Introduction of the Employment Act
 Research to support the retention of current level of
Annual Leave
Employment rights/relations and better regulation
Forthcoming developments
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SME forum to develop improved guidance/advice
Removal of cumbersome statutory grievance model
Improved services offering real alternative to tribunals
Introduction of Agency Workers Regulations
Amendments to WTR following ECJ judgements
Continued monitoring of policy developments in GB,
accompanied by engagement with local stakeholders
on the implications for NI
 Publicity around changes and development of
guidance to ensure that they are understood
Employment rights/relations and better regulation
Q&A
 Any questions or views?
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