Ahead of this week’s Queen’s Speech and following a survey of IoD members, which found that the two biggest factors holding back businesses are the economy and government regulation, the Institute of Directors (IoD) has called for the introduction of three Bills.

The IoD accepts that there are no quick fixes for our economic situation, but they believe there are three Bills which could be introduced in the next session of Parliament to address the problem of over-regulation and tackle the damaging effects of increasing trade union militancy:

  • The ‘Midas’ Bill – Successive Governments have implemented EU directives over-zealously, resulting in greater burdens for business than necessary. Two prime examples are the Agency Workers Directive and the Working Time Directive. The Government should introduce a bill to strip back all of this ‘gold-plating’, and make it clear that in future only the minimum required by the directive will be brought into UK law.
  •  The ‘Beyond Beecroft’ Bill – De-regulating the employment market would set business free to grow. A Bill which introduced ‘compensated no-fault dismissal’ as suggested by Adrian Beecroft, a three-month notice period for employees who do not wish to return from maternity leave, and enshrined the Government’s One-In, Two-out regulatory principle in law would make businesses feel that the tide has turned on regulation.
  • The ‘Too Big to Strike’ Bill – Through a series of mergers, the trade unions have become divorced from their original purpose, no longer representing workers from specific industries and able to cause disruption beyond the site of the original dispute. The Government should give powers to an organisation like the Competition Commission to investigate union mergers. Recent industrial action based on small turn-outs also makes the case for a change to the law, so that only strikes backed by the majority of a union’s members could take place.

Simon Walker, Director General of the IoD, said:

“This is probably the Government’s last chance in this Parliament to announce new legislation to boost businesses and the economy. Nearly half of businesses think that regulation is holding them back. Ministers must seize this opportunity to tackle the issue head-on.”

The Institute of Directors was founded in 1903 and obtained a Royal Charter in 1906. It is a non-party political organisation with approximately 35,000 members in the United Kingdom and overseas. Membership includes directors from right across the business spectrum – from media to manufacturing, e-business to the public and voluntary sectors. Members include CEOs of large corporations as well as entrepreneurial directors of start-up companies.

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