Controversial MP And Author Would Change Employment Law

Conservative MP Dominic Raab, also co-author of a book out next month called Britannia Unchained: Global Lessons for Growth and Prosperity, has called for changes to employment legislation in the UK, arguing that current employment law offers “excessive protection” to workers.

Raab, MP for Tory stronghold Esher and Walton, is quoted as saying: “People who are coasting – it should be easier to let them go, to give the unemployed a chance. It is a delicate balancing act, but it should be decided in favour of the latter.”

Extracts from the book, whose co-authors are also Conservative MPs, were leaked last week, despite a strict embargo, so only the publisher’s PR may be quoted, along with Raab’s public interviews or other published work.

For example, in one paper he wrote for the Centre for Policy Studies, Raab said that “the definition of fair dismissal should be widened … to encompass inadequate performance … [This] would help employers get the best from their staff.”  The paper went on to suggest that small businesses should be exempt from paying the minimum wage of between £3.68 and £4.98 to the under-21s.

An in an interview he gave to the Guardian newspaper, Raab said: I’m a big Thatcher fan. The coalition has done a lot of good incremental work, on the deficit and so on. Do I think we need a more decisive shift to build on what the coalition has done? The answer is a definite yes.”

Some political commentators are starting to see a pattern emerging on the Right between what Raab is advocating and the controversial Beecroft Report, written by venture capitalist and Conservative party donor, Adrian Beecroft, despite Business Secretary Vince Cable dismissing many of the proposals contained within it as  “bonkers.”

It will be interesting to see the reaction of employers and employees to the suggestions in the book when it comes out.

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Mackrell Turner Garrett Solicitors in London

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