If we leave the EU, the Conservatives have a blueprint for scrapping workers’ rights says Hannah Fearn of the Independent newspaper.
Many of you will have forgotten about the Beecroft Report which advised the PM when in coalition with the Libdems to scrap most of workers employment rights.
Written by multimillionaire venture capitalist and Tory donor Adrian Beecroft, the report in particular attacked employment tribunals, saying that an employer should be able to sack a worker without even giving a reason, and at a moments notice. he argued that the concept of unfair dismissal itself should be scrapped.
There is a real risk that substantial parts of the Beecroft report could become law, if we leave the EU.
In fact some of Beecroft recommendations have already been implemented as confirmed by David Cameron in the House of Commons 22nd May 2012 during Prime Minister Questions. Responding to Ed Miliband, he commended the report, saying:
"We need to make it easier for businesses to grow, for businesses to take people on, for businesses to expand. The Beecroft report, which I commissioned, had a number of excellent ideas that we are taking forward.
We are doubling the qualifying period for unfair dismissal, we are exempting businesses with less than 10 people from new EU regulations, we are exempting a million people who are self-employed from health and safety. We are consulting on no-fault dismissal, but only for micro-businesses. It was a good report and it’s right that we take forward its best measures."
The report was written in 2011 and due to the coalition government at the time, it was shelved. But in 2012 following pressure from Labour MPs the report, minus the Executive Summary was published. The executive summary, however was later leaked
On page 4 of the excluded Executive Summary of the leaked report, Beecroft wrote:
This statement is based on no actual facts, but is merely the author’s opinion. This is the case throughout the report, but the Tories will not let something like that stop them from destroying workers rights.
Furthermore, the proposal to take away job security from every single working person in Britain by introducing “no fault dismissal” is only the beginning.
Without offering a shred of evidence, the Beecroft Report claims that ripping up rights at work across the board will create jobs and help end the recession.
In fact he admits, in his executive summary, to the contrary and offers only an opinion of the outcome of such policies as opposed to evidence:
There can be no clearer evidence from recent history that a Tory government unhindered by EU laws, that workers in this country will see a US-styled anti-trade union and anti-workers rights culture introduced into the UK, especially headed by Boris Johnson and including Nigel Farage as is currently being suggested!
Furthermore, with the still increasing use of zero-hours contacts, stable employment without fear of instant dismissal will stop employees from complaining about working conditions, bullying, discrimination and other forms of harassment; and we will quickly go back to the 1700s in terms of working environments in the UK.
Ending her article in the Independent, Hannah Fearn concludes:
"If we vote to leave the EU, we are giving the Government carte blanche to start again when it comes to employment law and rights at work – and a quick glance at the buried Beecroft report shows exactly how far this Tory government, free of both the checks and balances of the EU and the constraints of a coalition agreement, may be willing to go to scrap workplace rights.
It’s not just maternity or holiday pay that’s at risk if we Brexit, it could be your right to a stable job in an economy that respects the hard work of all those that contribute to it, not the desires of wealthy business leaders."
You can download the full leaked report here and an amended version here
Source: Independent / unionsafety
Posted: 1st January 2016