Thursday , June 13 2024

Angela Rayner warned her plans for a workers’ rights bill could cost British firms £41BILLION a year as she looks to ban zero-hour contracts and give staff a ‘right to switch-off’

Labour has come under pressure from businesses over its workers’ rights plan – as the Tories said the reforms would cost companies £41 billion a year.

Major firms met Labour officials this week to make their views ‘loud and clear’ in talks convened by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) lobby group.

Labour’s proposals, fronted by deputy leader Angela Rayner, include a ban on zero-hour contracts and a ‘right to switch off’.

But after warnings from bosses that the plans could backfire, the party faces a major test of its relationship with corporate Britain – as unions push to avoid them being watered down.

Executives remain in the dark over the plans, with some still worried about how Labour will act in power, despite its long-term ‘smoked salmon’ offensive to woo the City.

Deputy leader Angela Rayner will propose a ban on zero-hour contracts and a ¿right to switch off.'

Deputy leader Angela Rayner will propose a ban on zero-hour contracts and a ‘right to switch off.’

Business Secretary Kemi Badenoch says the plans will cripple businesses, reduce investment and lead to more strikes.

Business Secretary Kemi Badenoch says the plans will cripple businesses, reduce investment and lead to more strikes.

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BCC director general Shevaun Haviland said her organisation had convened ¿constructive talks¿ on the issue with Labour.

BCC director general Shevaun Haviland said her organisation had convened ‘constructive talks’ on the issue with Labour.

 Last night it was claimed that if all the measures – including raising the minimum wage to £10 for all workers and speeding up the rollout of home-working – were introduced, it could cost British businesses £205 billion over a five-year parliament.

The measures will cost businesses £1,250 per employee every year, according to analysis by the Conservatives.

BCC director general Shevaun Haviland said her organisation had convened ‘constructive talks’ on the issue with Labour. 

Those attending included major firms from the BCC’s business council, a body whose founding members include Heathrow, BP and Holiday Inn owner IHG Hotels. 

The BCC did not disclose which members attended.

Ms Haviland said: ‘On such important matters it’s crucial that the voice of business continues to be heard loud and clear. It’s clear that Labour is in listening mode. 

‘Our members wholeheartedly recognise that their employees deserve high standards of protection. 

‘However, any changes to legislation in the future must be proportionate and affordable.’

Labour Deputy Leader Angela Rayner and Welsh Labour Leader Vaughan Gething launched the Welsh Labour general election campaign Llandudno, Wales this week.

Labour Deputy Leader Angela Rayner and Welsh Labour Leader Vaughan Gething launched the Welsh Labour general election campaign Llandudno, Wales this week.

Gething addressed activists saying that people across Wales are calling out for a change of UK government, an end to Tory chaos.

Gething addressed activists saying that people across Wales are calling out for a change of UK government, an end to Tory chaos.

Sir Martin Sorrell, chief executive of marketing firm S4 Capital and one of the City’s best-known figures, has previously described the plan as ‘Labour’s Achilles heel’.

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Labour grandee Lord Mandelson, who masterminded the party’s 1997 election victory, has also urged caution, but Ms Rayner has dismissed ‘squealing’ critics.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer and Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves have hinted that key elements of the plan could be watered down. 

But last week they met trade union bosses that provide a large chunk of Labour’s funding and ‘reiterated Labour’s full commitment to the deal’.

Business Secretary Kemi Badenoch says the plans will cripple businesses, reduce investment and lead to more strikes.

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