A controversial review of EU employment rights will no longer go ahead, the business secretary has revealed just a week after confirming it will go ahead.
Last week, Kwasi Kwarteng confirmed that the government was considering scrapping some of the EU’s workers’ rights laws in the wake of Brexit, just days after insisting the government had no ‘no plans’ to cut workers’ rights.
Appearing on ITV’s Peston, the business secretary said: “So the review is no longer happening within the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).
I made it very very clear to officials in the department that we’re not interested in watering down workers’ rights.”He added: “I can’t have been more clear about this on a number of occasions.
I’ve said repeatedly that Brexit gives us the opportunity to have higher standards and a higher growth economy and that’s what officials in the department are 100% focused on.”Last week, Mr Kwarteng told a committee of MPs: “I think the view was that we wanted to look at the whole range of issues relating to our EU membership and examine what we wanted to keep, if you like.
”That announcement was met with huge backlash from unions and shadow business chancellor Ed Miliband. Writing in The Guardian at the time, he said:
“The government has failed to bring in the employment bill that it promised would protect and enhance workers’ rights.
”He added: “We have seen some workers feel unable to ensure their own safety, scared to raise complaints and compelled to come into the office despite the government’s instruction to work from home.”