Survey Reveals SME Employees are Missing Out on Family Friendly Benefits

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31 Jul 2012

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Workers in companies of 100 employees or less are losing out on a number of family friendly benefits such as parental leave, according to new research by Croner. The survey of 1,175 working adults by YouGov for Croner reveals that on average three in 10 (33% of businesses with one to 10 employees, 29% with 11 to 50, and 27% with 51 to 100 employees) businesses employing 100 employees or less appear not to offer any family-friendly measures despite the fact that a proportion of the workforce is entitled to by law. Under current legislation, employees have a number of rights in relation to maternity leave and pay, paternity leave and pay, leave and pay for adoptive parents, parental leave and the right to request flexible working. Carol Smith, senior employment law consultant at Croner says: "It's surprising the number of people in our survey that say their company does not offer any family-friendly measures, considering employees are entitled to them under UK employment law. "Croner believes the reason is that businesses employing fewer than 100 employees tend not to have a dedicated and suitably qualified person to manage HR. So it usually ends up being a line manager's or business owner's responsibility. As this is often a bolt-on to their day job, unsurprisingly they tend to have a lower awareness of general HR issues, employee rights and employers' obligations. "A lack of awareness will not give employers protection in an employment tribunal. Therefore Croner's advice to small business bosses is that they should equip themselves or their line managers with the necessary training and support to deal competently and confidently with HR issues and rights. If in any doubt they should seek external help to avoid falling foul of the law and to avoid costly litigation."

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