Conservative Party plans to slash £14bn per year from legislative costs misjudges employer feelings

The Conservative Party’s celebrated plan to slash £14bn per year of legislative costs from business misjudges the mood of employers, a leading figure has warned.

Tory attempts to win back voters from Labour will be kick-started on Friday (17 August) when shadow chancellor George Osborne backs the ambitious Redwood Report.

Proposals in the report, compiled by former Tory cabinet minister John Redwood, are said to include repealing Working Time Regulations and making it easier for firms to make employees redundant.

But David Yeandle, deputy director of employment policy at manufacturers’ body and powerful lobbyist the EEF, revealed that no-one had asked businesses’ opinions.

“I would have hoped that they would have consulted with us on this,” he told Personnel Today. “I am sceptical on whether it will work – and I have not heard many people saying they want these laws scrapped.”

Yeandle warned that getting out of European legislation such as the Working Time Directive would be extremely difficult.

“Politicians are always very good at saying they will cut red tape but the reality is often different,” he added.

“The most important thing is that we do not have any more legislation. There is no great demand to get rid of existing employment legislation.”

He added that it was “slightly odd” that the Conservative party was promoting the reduction of employment legislation at the same time as talking about extending the right to request flexible working.

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