The TUC has hit out at the “extreme” package of workplace proposals put forward by Conservative MP John Redwood’s policy review group.
The Economic Competitiveness Policy Group report has proposed a range of measures to boost the UK’s economic performance. It will now be for David Cameron’s shadow cabinet to decide which recommendations form part of the Conservative manifesto.
In terms of human resources and the workplace, the proposals include:
- repealing the Working Time Regulations
- scaling back data protection legislation
- opting out of the EU Social Chapter and producing UK rules on a number of employment measures
- a review of the Health and Safety at Work Act
TUC deputy general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Redwood’s proposals add up to a pretty extreme package of proposals that will hit people at work – particularly working women.
“Opting out of the Social Chapter would end the right for working parents to take emergency unpaid leave when a child is ill. Repealing the Working Time Regulations would end the right to take four weeks’ paid holiday – a measure that has mainly helped low paid working women.”
The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) urged caution over plans to review the Health and Safety at Work Act.
“IOSH strongly opposes any plans to ‘water down’ health and safety protection in law, because health and safety is good for people, good for business and good for the economy,” it said.
David Coats, associate director of policy at The Work Foundation think-tank, said: “The UK is already a lightly regulated economy and there is no strong evidence to show that Redwood’s proposals would increase our national prosperity.
“In contrast, it seems more likely that bad employers will exploit these measures to worsen the position of the most disadvantaged workers.”