The political mud-fight that has erupted in the wake of a leaked version of the Beecroft report into employment regulation in the UK has been condemned by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation.
Early reactions to the report from some leading politicians imply that it will enable employers to “fire at will” and that altering regulations will simply intimidate the UK workforce by stripping them of important protections. However, as most contractors who work through umbrella companies or limited companies can testify, working flexibly does not necessarily result in ruthless exploitation.
REC Chief Executive Kevin Green said:
“We need an honest and truthful debate about employment regulations in this country. But the leaking of this report has turned the issue into a sideshow of arguments between Ministers from different parties. Rules that could have an impact on many thousands of employers, recruitment agencies and workers need to be considered in a serious, meticulous fashion – not as fodder for a political slanging match.”
The organisation’s Director of Policy and Professional Services, Tom Hadley, added that SMEs especially need measures in place to build hiring confidence, as this is the “key to economic recovery.” He supported the government’s plan to consult on the UK’s legislative framework around employment regulation, so that excess red tape can be stripped away through sober and meticulous debate while leaving “essential safeguards for workers” intact.
He believes that bodies whose effectiveness has been questioned, such as the Employment Agency Standards Inspectorate and the Gangsters Licensing Authority, should not simply be scrapped. Instead, he favours targeting their limited resources onto “rogue operators who exploit workers and undercut the market.”