British business leaders yesterday described Labour’s plans for a new ministry of workers’ rights as an attempt to “turn back the clock decades,” as Jeremy Corbyn set out his vision ahead of a potential election.
The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) said that the proposals did not reflect the reality in most UK workplaces.
“The vast majority of firms thrive on strong employee engagement, invest in training and prioritise wellbeing,” said Josh Hardie, the CBI’s deputy head.
“They support jobs, sustainable wage rises and enforcement of employment law. A fundamental re-write of regulation is the last thing the economy needs right now.”
It came after Corbyn laid out his plan for the new department in a speech to the Trades Union Congress.
“At the core of its work will be rolling out collective bargaining across the economy, sector by sector,” Corbyn said.
He promised the “biggest extension of rights for workers that our country has ever seen,” if elected.
He also promised a repeal of the Trade Union Act within the first 100 days of a Labour government. The act, which was enacted in 2016, does not allow a strike if a ballot has less than 50 per cent turnout.
Speaking about Corbyn’s plans to re-nationalise utilities and the Royal Mail, the CBI’s Josh Hardie said: “At a time when the UK is already on the watchlist for international investors, these proposals will do further harm to our economy.”