Bonfire of the Red Tape Vanities

Are we over regulated and if so, what can we do about it?

There is a lot of ‘media’ and ‘political’ debate about it – but it is all based on the same assumptions that we:

  • are over-regulated and over-legislated
  • retain the power to repeal legislation
  • can simplify legislation that we can’t repeal

Over the next few blogs, we shall be exploring some of the issues.

Are we are over-regulated and over-legislated?

I might want the right to dismiss anyone I want to but do I want my friends and family sacked for no reason?

I might want the freedom to say whatever I want to anyone anywhere I go,  but do I want be abused at work? .

If we start with what rights do we feel we really need to have (as a safety net for ourselves, our children and our loved ones), we don’t always end up in the same place as the people on whom the obligation to respect those rights is imposed.  What if we  look at it from the perspective of an employer?

I have the privilege of being a business owner, self-employed, a boss, a mother of sons who work for other people, and an employment law and HR specialist who hears a lot about what goes wrong in the workplace.

The whole debate about legislation is like trying to fix a difficult marriage by changing the divorce laws.

Would you give up protection from domestic violence to simplifying UK law?

In the workplace there are many problems that people need some way of addressing, and some remedy for.

We work with wonderful organisations who really do try to bring their vision into the world and take their staff along with them, but we still regularly come across people who are abused and damaged at work..

Should animals be better protected than people?

If I were an animal, I would have regulations about:

  • transportation  – you can’t transport sheep in the same conditions many commuters endure
  • food and drink and rest breaks – work an animal to death or fail to let it eat and drink and the RSPCA will be on to you.  Working Time regulation for humans is another thing? 
  • dangerous conditions that injur an animal or cause it stress? – again the RSPCA will be on to you – but Health and Safety (and stress prevention) for humans is red tape?

People baiting?

Years ago our ancestors thought it was OK to organise bear baiting, badger baiting, cock fights and more.  Most people in the UK today would think this was not OK and we have laws against it.

Should I not have the same rights at work as an animal?

Do we want to live in a world where employment is:

  1. Regulated?
  2. Unregulated? be continued……

Annabel Kaye is Managing Director of Irenicon Ltd, a specialist employment law consultancy.

Tel: 08452 303050 Fax: 08452 303060
Website :
You can follow Annabel on Twitter


Filed under employment law

4 responses to “Bonfire of the Red Tape Vanities

  1. Pingback: Bonfire of the delusion – do we have the power to repeal employment law? | Employment law in a mad world

  2. Pingback: Simplifying the complex – red tape and employment law | Employment law in a mad world

  3. Pingback: What I say, or what I mean? Red tape and employment law | Employment law in a mad world

  4. Pingback: Red tape and fairness | Employment law in a mad world

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