The decision by Stephen Byers to delay the implementation of Part-Time Workrules should be welcomed without question. A quick fix of forcing through thelegislation without proper notice for employers would have created moreproblems than it solved.There are very encouraging signs in the announcement. Byers said he wouldgive eight weeks to employers between the publication of the regulation andtheir implementation – a fortnight more than the six weeks he has proposed inthe past. He also made clear he was aware there was concern among employersabout the implementation of the part-time regulations. Clearly Byers and hisofficials are keeping a closer eye on what firms are saying, which can only bea good thing. While the eight-week extension is the right decision, the game isn’t quiteup. For a start we still don’t have the regulations. Byers may have thrownemployers a bone by delaying implementation, but he failed to give anyindication if the Government has made its mind up on exactly who will becovered by the law when it comes in. For many employers this is the biggerissue. Given the flak the Government has taken over the Rover fiasco, there isa danger it might decide to extend the remit of the legislation to win somecredibility with the unions.The nature of the announcement also deserves some scrutiny. It was slippedinto a speech to the British Chambers of Commerce. The spin put on this speechwas Labour restating its business agenda and most reports were happy to takethis line. As a result the delay over Part-Time Work seems to have gone all butunnoticed. No one likes to admit a climbdown, but surely for simple informationpurposes the DTI might have flagged up the announcement for employers?That said, these are minor gripes and it is important to recognise that thedepartment has done the right thing this time. In our campaign with the EFSPfor better regulation we have repeatedly called on the Government to giveemployers more time to deal with employment legislation and this time it has.It looks like Byers is listening to what employers are saying. Let’s hope thisis a taster of a more open and flexible approach to implementing workplacelegislation. Previous Article Next Article Welcomed delay on Part-Time Work rulesOn 11 Apr 2000 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos. Comments are closed.