Publishing its first “Burning Issues” barometer on employment issues facing the
EEF, which provides employment advice to its membership of more than 6,000 manufacturing companies, received nearly 24,000 calls for support in the first six months of 2006. Whilst this is the first nationwide analysis of call data received, evidence suggests that the last year has seen a significant increase in requests for help.
There has been a particular growth in requirements for help in new areas of legislation such as equal opportunities and discrimination.
The top five employment issues from a list of more than 30 from January to June 2006 were: disciplinary issues, redundancy and reorganisation, contracts of employment, absence management, and termination of employment.
These five issues accounted for nearly 60% of all calls. However, the proportion of enquiries regarding discrimination and policies and procedures has increased significantly in recent weeks due to the new age laws that became law on 1st October.
EEF Director of Legal and Employment Affairs, Peter Schofield, said: ‘Employing people is becoming more and more complex in this country. We are not surprised at the rise in calls for advice from companies wanting to avoid the numerous pitfalls.
‘Over the next year we expect that calls will increase in response to a number of areas where there is new legislation – from family and maternity issues to age discrimination.’