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‘Cut EU Red Tape’ Report

Small businesses set to benefit from ‘Cut EU Red Tape’ report


A series of business-led proposals relating to the exemption of small firms from EU employment law have been welcomed by Prime Minister David Cameron.


The suggestions are contained within a new report called ‘Cut EU Red Tape: Report from the Business Taskforce’ which has been compiled by six senior UK business leaders selected by the Prime Minister, including the former Diageo CEO and the CEO of retail giant Marks & Spencer.


The authors of the report took into account responses drawn from over 100 businesses located across the country in order to compile the finished product, which contains 30 recommendations for cutting back EU regulation in order to assist European businesses to grow.


Poorly understood and burdensome employment legislation is currently hindering the growth of many small firms across Europe, the report suggested. Mr Cameron said: “It’s vital that business can take full advantage of the EU’s single market. But all too often EU rules are a handicap for firms, hampering their efforts to succeed in the global race.


“Business people, particularly owners of small firms, are forced to spend too much time complying with pointless, burdensome and costly regulations and that means less time developing a new product, winning contracts or hiring young recruits. I’m determined to change that and to get the EU working for business, not against it,” he added.


The report focused on five key areas which were currently acting as a barrier to growth for smaller firms, including starting out, exporting, expanding, developing new products and a firm’s overall competitiveness.


The proposals for change included the scrapping of EU-wide requirements which force small businesses in low-risk sectors to keep written health and safety risk assessments, along with ensuring micro-enterprises are exempt from all new employment law proposals where possible. Other suggestions referenced the reforming of employment law in cases where it prevents firms from creating jobs and ensuring that the Agency Workers Regulations “give greater flexibility for individual employers and workers to reach their own arrangements that suit local circumstances and give clarity to companies that they only need to keep limited records”.


Mr Cameron confirmed that he would be calling for a “clear commitment to sweep away unnecessary bureaucratic barriers and to unleash private sector growth – helping to secure the economic recovery for all” at this week’s European Council.


The report will help to shape long-term thinking about the impact of EU employment regulation on business growth across the UK.

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