A potential overhaul of workers’ rights post-Brexit is being discussed among Tory ministers, with limits on working hours possibly in the firing line.
The Financial Times (FT) reported on 15 January that a “package of deregulatory measures” is in the works by the business department with the approval of the prime minister, “according to people who are familiar with the matter”.
Unite assistant general secretary Steve Turner slammed the proposals.
“Just 14 days post-Brexit and it’s workers’ rights in the spotlight for Tory ministers,” he said. ”No industrial strategy to recover and rebuild, no pay rises for nurses, but a bonfire of workers’ rights, tax breaks and free-ports for greedy corporates and the already obscenely rich.”
Turner added that even businesses themselves have no interest in rowing back on workers’ rights.
“Industry federations have confirmed that not only have they had no discussion with government on this attack, but that there is no appetite for this amongst their membership,” he said.
“Good businesses want a level playing field, not a race to the bottom. They need answers, support and investment from government to address difficult questions and meet the challenges of a recovery from Covid, future trade post-Brexit and the climate emergency. Of all the many problems good businesses now face, workers’ rights is not one of them.
“Make no mistake, this an ideological attack led by Tory politicians who have nothing but distain for working people.”