Business perceptions of the ‘burden’ of employment law do not reflect reality, according to a government-commissioned research study published last week by the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS).

The 60-page research report, commissioned by BIS from market research firm TNS-BMRB and Kingston University, found that businesses that view employment law as burdensome often do so due to ‘a lack of understanding of the law’.   Furthermore, such business perceptions are at odds with the fact that ‘the UK has one of the most lightly regulated and flexible employment systems in the world.’

Well, blow me down with an ET1 form.

No doubt future research in this series will establish the relative size of the Pope’s hat, and whether or not bears really do defecate in wooded areas.  Hmmm.  If anyone at BIS would like to commission me to do the research, I’ll be very happy to give them a quotation.  I bet I can do it for less than any market research company.  And in half the time.

Seriously though, it is of course welcome that BIS ministers commissioned and published this research.  It’s just a shame they didn’t do so in 2010, before they embarked on a demolition of the employment tribunal system and the legal protection against unfair dismissal.

Author: Richard Dunstan

Richard Dunstan is a policy wonk who has worked for Citizens Advice, the National Audit Office, the Law Society, and Amnesty International UK.

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