Workplace: Employers come up trumps

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The Independent Online
Ministerial fears that employers would overwhelmingly oppose extending the imposition of worker's rights from "day one" of employment may have been wide of the mark.

Research published yesterday showed that four out of ten finance directors were in favour of such protection. Even among the 49 per cent of finance directors who opposed the extension of employees' rights, some could see a need for reducing the two-year qualification period.

The findings of the poll, conducted by Reed Accountancy Personnel, the specialist employment agency, will surprise Blairite politicians who were keen to abandon the pledge for fear of opposition from the business community. The policy was endorsed by John Smith, former leaded of the Labour Party, but was quietly ditched by his successor.

Among the 40 per cent of respondents backing day-one rights, one remarked. "It's unfair on day-one as much as it is two years down the line," he said. Some board members were more wary. Said one: "Legislation should also protect the employer from abuse."