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UK — Call to coalition to cut back excessive employment regulation

13 May 2010

The new coalition Conservative/Liberal Democrat government should take the opportunity to cut back the excess of employment regulation created by the last Labour Government. That is the view of Adrian Marlowe, Chairman of the Association of Recruitment Consultancies (ARC).

Marlowe said "employers and recruitment agencies have been flooded with legislation and regulations which have reportedly cost the UK economy well over 170 billion Pounds over the last decade. Much of this emanates from EU legislation and the new Government should focus on weeding out regulations that inhibit business from generating new jobs."

Marlowe argues that with inevitable cutbacks in the public sector, the Government will have to depend on the private sector to provide growth in employment opportunities. This can only be achieved by cutting back expenditure on unnecessary regulation.

"Now that Liberal Democrat MP Vince Cable has been given the role of overseeing banking and business, it is important that he pushes forward his party's manifesto commitment to reduce the burden of unnecessary red tape by properly assessing the cost and effectiveness of regulations before and after they are introduced."

Marlowe added "another important Liberal Democrat commitment is to insert 'sunset clauses' to ensure the need for a regulation is regularly reviewed, and working towards the principle of 'one in, one out' for new rules."

Marlowe also noted that the Liberal Democrats are committed to putting an end to the so-called 'gold-plating' of EU rules, so that British businesses are not disadvantaged relative to their European competitors.

"This is crucial, and in relation to the Agency Workers' Regulations (AWR) the ARC has been arguing this vigorously for some time. This is also reflected in Conservative policy, particularly in relation to the AWR, in respect of which David Cameron had laid an Early Day Motion for its revocation shortly before the general election. At the same time in direct discussions with the ARC the Conservatives also promised to review the AWR if there was sufficient representation from the recruitment industry. The ARC will certainly be pressing for this."

Finally Marlowe emphasises that by cutting back irrelevant red tape, the new Government will encourage business to take a positive view of recruitment which will not only generate a substantial increase in tax revenue, but will substantially reduce the expenditure burden generated by unemployment and social security payments.



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