Business groups back House of Lords in dispute over modernising European Union labour laws

Business groups have backed a House of Lords call for the UK to shun the European Union’s modernisation of labour laws if it involves more employment rights.

The House of Lords EU committee last week published a report arguing that the UK should not agree to any extension of labour laws.

The committee said that the relatively light regulation of the UK labour market had led to employment flexibility, enabling the country to avoid the high unemployment and labour segmentation seen in some EU member states.

Chair of the committee Baroness Thomas of Walliswood said: “Rather than agreeing to increased EU regulation, the government should be focusing on areas where the UK labour market could be improved.”

Alan Tyrrell, employment chairman at the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), said: “We are pleased the Lords listened to our views when we gave evidence on the EU Green Paper. There is no desire in the UK for the imposition of further EU-inspired labour law.”

The European Parliament last month published a draft report in response to the EU Green Paper Modernising Labour Law to Meet the Challenges of the 21st Century.

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