Lack of publicity spend should mean freeze on new regulations

The government's decision to reduce the amount of money it spends on publicising changes to employment laws should be matched by a freeze on new rules, a business group has argued.

The Business Department intends to invest just £10,000 promoting the new national minimum wage this year.

Last year £850,000 was spent alerting employers to the new rates.

It appears also that there is little money left, following the spending cuts, to inform employers and workers about the additional paternity leave and pay regulations that come into force next April.

In total six pieces of employment regulation will be on stream in April 2011, including the scrapping of the default retirement age.

David Frost, director general of the British Chambers of Commerce, insisted that the government has a duty to explain the new rules to employers and should inform them of their obligations under the changes.

But given the radical clamp down on government publicity spending, it would only be fair to put a hold on new employment legislation, Mr Frost added.

He said: "If the government does not want to spend money to tell employers about new employment legislation then there should be a freeze on the implementation of new regulation."