By Max Clarke

The UK’s leading manufacturers’ organisation, the EEF, has again urged government to ‘redouble its efforts’ in stripping the UK of excessive regulations that it feels are choking the UK’s recovery.

“Government has set out the right ambitions to reduce the burden of regulation and its approach has the potential to deliver,” said EEF Director of Policy, Steve Radley. “But industry is now looking to see the new approach deliver real change. With major new measures such as the new national pension savings scheme in the pipeline for next year, the government needs to set out plans for where it can reduce the burden on employers. “

Publishing its own analysis of the government’s performance ‘Reforming Regulation — One Year On’ EEF the manufacturers’ organisation believes government has shown positive ambitions to date. These include the One-In One-Out Approach, grater scrutiny of new regulation by the Regulatory Policy Committee (RPC) and attempts to look at key areas such as employment and health and safety rather than picking at individual regulations.

But at a time when business is under growing pressure, it now needs to see signs of a genuine change in approach in Whitehall, some real reductions in regulation and greater effort to stem the flow of bad regulation from Europe. In the coming months, industry will be watching closely the government’s decisions on extending the right to request flexible working, parental leave and equal pay audits to ensure that it is not adding unnecessary burdens on to business.

Government must also step up efforts to lead change at European level where there is a continued culture to push for more, not less, regulation. For example, the UK faces the risk of yet more employment legislation through the Pregnant Workers Directive which is expected to cost the private sector in the UK 3 million euros, while our opt-out from the Working Time Directive is up for grabs again.

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