From education to employment

DWP and Jobcentre Plus Run Seminar for Businesses on New Legislation

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and Jobcentre Plus have recently hosted a free half day seminar aimed at making Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) more aware of the issues arising from new legislation.

The event was held at the Putteridge Bury Conference Centre in Luton, and aimed to address the impact that new legislation would have on issues including work-life balance, age discrimination, recruitment and disability. The seminar sought to highlight the true potential of working within the legislation rather than working against it, and the way in which it can bring real business benefits to small and medium sized employers.

Link to Success

The event was also supported by a wide range of local organisations including Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire County Council, Luton Borough Council and Business Link Hertfordshire. And the Chief Executive of Business Link Hertfordshire, John Collier, stressed the importance of the project and of carrying forward this cooperation.

“It is vitally important for small businesses to keep up-to-date with the latest legal issues, such as the Disability Discrimination Act, and demographic trends that could have an impact on their business in the future,” he said. “Taking account of these changes and building them into their planning processes makes sound business sense for small businesses. They will be better prepared to adapt more quickly to current trading conditions and keep ahead of their competitors.

Partnerships for Success

The event was opened by the small and medium sized enterprise channel manager for Jobcentre Plus, Mr. Stuart Durrell, who said: “The partnership between ACAS, Business Link, The Childrens Information Service and Jobcentre Plus is new. We all work with employers but we want to encourage more of them, particularly small and medium sized enterprises, to think about and implement greater diversity in their selection and recruitment of new staff.”

He continued: “I hope employers have found the event interesting and motivates them to work with some or all of our partners in the future.” A representative from ACAS was also present and spoke of the need to carry on developping recent successful initiatives. Steve Tullock, the Training Services Manager for ACAS, said: “In recent years, developments in the economy and peoples expectations have meant changes to the way business operates and both employers and employees of all ages are looking for more flexible working practices.”

As always, effective leadership is deemed to be one of the keys to success. Mr. Tullock said: “Managers need to develop positive attitudes to flexible working. Greater use of flexible working can bring big benefits and real bottom line gains to their business.”

Jethro Marsh

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