West Midlands MEP to fight redundancy legislation moves

WEST Midlands MEP Anthea McIntyre and her Conservative colleagues have vowed to carry on fighting legislation on redundancy procedures which, they say, would “make life impossible” for businesses needing to restructure their operations.

Miss McIntyre, Conservative Employment Spokesman in the European Parliament, said her group would go on opposing the proposed legislation, even though it was approved at committee level, with members of the European People's Party joining Liberal Democrats and Socialists to push through “damaging compromise clauses”.

According to the proposals the legislation would become applicable if restructuring operations would affect at least 100 employees in a single company or 500 employees in a company and its dependent companies in one or more member states over a period of three months.

As “dependent companies” could include any subcontractor and supplier the proposal would lead to “a very high degree of legal uncertainty for any employer in Europe” said Miss McIntyre.

The proposals specify that the restructuring company would be obliged to give an early explanation and justification to “all relevant stakeholders”. It would then be obliged to follow a checklist of alternatives which would have to be considered before a restructuring would take place.

The employer would also be made responsible for retraining redundant employees for employment with new jobs with other employers.

One compromise clause insisted that "relevant measures should be taken several months prior to the proposed restructuring" and should "include the prompt provision of retraining courses".

Another said affected staff must be given help in job-hunting, including paid time off to search for jobs, and that there must be "monitoring, surveillance and counselling aimed to avoid or minimise the negative impact of the restructuring process on both the physical and psycho-social well-being of both redundant workers, if any, and those staying".

Miss McIntyre said the UK's Conservative MEPs, “unlike Labour and Liberal Democrat MEPs”, would “fight tooth and nail” against the new rules, proposed by Spanish Socialist MEP Alejandro Cercas.

She explained: "There's no reflection here of the realities of running a business, especially in these challenging times. They want people to plan months and years ahead for restructuring when, often, it has to done on an emergency basis to keep a business afloat.

"They want to add to the cost of restructuring when often every penny of the savings is needed to ensure viability of the company and protect the jobs of the remaining workforce long term. It places unacceptable demands on companies facing troubled times and it makes it more likely that struggling companies will fail.

"That helps nobody - not the owners or shareholders, not the managers and certainly not the workforce."

Comments (1)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

11:16am Thu 22 Nov 12

Stephen Brown says...

The Tories are only interested in hire and fire and exporting our jobs to the cheapest european or other country for labour costs - without any regard for the social impact here in the UK.

Tories know the price of everything and the cost of nothing.

It's also about time the EU paid more attention to workers right's rather than pandering to the agenda of the right wing on the 'free market' that has helped cause this whole economic mess in the first place that has generated so many job losses and redundancies.

I fail to see why state money cannot be used for a while to allow companies to remain afloat while they restructure or while there is economic turmoil; rather than taxpayers footing the bill for unemployment costs.

Afterall, the EU seems to allow Govts to subsidise the movement of jobs from one country to another with little overal economic benefit for us. The only winners are multinationals taking advantage of financial incentives to move work and jobs around Europe. eg Kidderminster's carpet industry. It is about time they put a stop to that as it's not 'new' industry or 'new' work so it should not get Govt or EU money or tax breaks to allow it to happen.

Until the EU or Govts impose a 'social impact' assessment of redundancy or business moves costs on the 'losing' economy then companies will continue to take advantage of a lack of workers rights and grab what they can where they can for their own ends. In the end the damage that this creates in our local economies will far outweigh the long term business case for doing it in the first place. I also think that if companies do shift production abroad they should be charged an import tariff for every product shipped back to the losing country to pay for the social impact those job losses have.
The Tories are only interested in hire and fire and exporting our jobs to the cheapest european or other country for labour costs - without any regard for the social impact here in the UK. Tories know the price of everything and the cost of nothing. It's also about time the EU paid more attention to workers right's rather than pandering to the agenda of the right wing on the 'free market' that has helped cause this whole economic mess in the first place that has generated so many job losses and redundancies. I fail to see why state money cannot be used for a while to allow companies to remain afloat while they restructure or while there is economic turmoil; rather than taxpayers footing the bill for unemployment costs. Afterall, the EU seems to allow Govts to subsidise the movement of jobs from one country to another with little overal economic benefit for us. The only winners are multinationals taking advantage of financial incentives to move work and jobs around Europe. eg Kidderminster's carpet industry. It is about time they put a stop to that as it's not 'new' industry or 'new' work so it should not get Govt or EU money or tax breaks to allow it to happen. Until the EU or Govts impose a 'social impact' assessment of redundancy or business moves costs on the 'losing' economy then companies will continue to take advantage of a lack of workers rights and grab what they can where they can for their own ends. In the end the damage that this creates in our local economies will far outweigh the long term business case for doing it in the first place. I also think that if companies do shift production abroad they should be charged an import tariff for every product shipped back to the losing country to pay for the social impact those job losses have. Stephen Brown
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree