Call to rethink more work-life balance plans

The Institute of Directors has
called on the Government to rethink any future commitments to work-life balance
practices, warning that a further increase in family-friendly measures would
undermine the competitiveness of UK businesses.

Its new report,
Keeping Britain Competitive: Manifesto for Business, suggests that the UK’s
fall down the World Economic Forum league tables is due to increasing labour market
regulation. In 1998, the UK was ranked fourth, but it fell to ninth in 2000.

The release of the
report is timed to challenge the Government’s awaited response to the Green
Paper on Work and Parents, which is due out any day.

The IoD’s head of
policy Ruth Lea said, "The UK has a global economy and must retain its
competitiveness so that business can thrive and deliver jobs and prosperity for
all. Short of closing our borders to trade with the rest of the world, we must
compete to stay in the race."

In the manifesto, the
IoD calls for "sunset clauses" that allow legislation to expire
unless there is a "conscious attempt to renew them".

It also urges the
Government to implement a five-year review of regulations that affect
individual sectors and suggests that the auditing body charged with reviewing
the regulations must be independent of government departments.

Lea said, "It is
not just the employment regulations that are onerous for business, the tax
system is long overdue for simplification and all regulations should have
sunset clauses and be regularly and rigorously audited."

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