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The Forum of Private Business calls for a ‘serious not spurious’ debate on employment law at Labour Party conference

The Forum of Private Business says attempts to simplify employment law for small businesses this year have been rejected without sufficient reasoning or proper debate by politicians.

The Forum, which is attending all three party conferences, wants an end to spurious arguments against reform at next week's Labour Party conference.

Senior policy adviser at the Forum, Alexander Jackman, said: "Our members all too often tell us that they are hampered by employment law, and the system is in urgent need of change to reflect the current economic conditions. So the issue of employment law should be high on the agenda at next week's conference, and we think it's important there's an open and evidence-based debate.

"The Forum is calling for a 'flexible labour market' not a 'hire and fire' culture. There has to be sensible discussion around this most important of issues, and none of the scaremongering we've seen previously."

Key findings from the Forum's most recent employment law panel survey suggests well over half (56%) of businesses still feel employment law prevents the management of staff to a ‘significant extent', and 82% felt overall that employment law hampered their ability to deal with people issues.

Mr Jackman added: "The way employment law is structured in the UK encourages employees to 'play' the system. Overall, employers support the concept of settlement agreements but more importantly support a system that is fairer and more balanced for employers with swifter resolution of disputes and greater safeguards against vexatious claims – this is just common sense.

"Flexible parental leave, employee rights to request flexible working, the EU proposal to allow employees who fall sick while on holiday to claim additional annual leave and the minimum wage are all really important issues that small business owners want to hear more on from Labour, but with a proper and rational debate. Any more talk of 'aphrodisiacs' and other hyperbolic ‘sound-bites' frankly aren't needed."

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