19 May 2017


Have you read the Tory Manifesto? I was interested to see that it includes an array of new measures targeted at business and the boardroom – one of which guarantees worker representation in the boardroom.
I think the government has a duty to intervene where people are being taken advantage of, but the day-to-day running of a business should be left to business leaders, and the government shouldn’t try and create one-type-fits-all legislation.

I’m incredibly concerned about the insistence on representation of workers in board meetings. It’s absolutely preposterous, because it’s the board meeting where strategy and highly confidential issues are discussed. There is sensitive information about strategy, acquisitions and tribunals discussed at these meetings. If on one day a member of the team sits in on board meetings and the next day they are leaving to work for a competitor with all the sensitive information they have gathered in board meetings then it’s a complete catastrophe.

I know for a fact that no credible organisation would enforce this, so in effect they’re just encouraging businesses to break the rules. It shows Theresa May’s complete lack of business common sense that she’s allowed some bureaucrat to come up with this idea. It’s preposterous.

She’s playing a dangerous game because she’s alienating the masses with her fox hunting bill and now she’s alienating business by throwing her weight around in this way. It could be a big mistake.

Another area of the manifesto I’m concerned about is putting tight controls on executive pay. I agree that these salaries need to be in proportion with business success and failing companies can’t pay huge bonuses to their executives. However, if Britain won’t pay big salaries to the incredibly talented people who are very good at running huge corporations, which create jobs and tax income, why would they work here? That’s the big danger for me.

You have to allow businesses in Britain to be able to compete on a global platform. You can’t lock them down because there’s a danger that you’ll lose out on the best people and we all know that people are the heart of good business. The government really needs to focus on the issue of governing and making a success of Brexit and giving us clarity. Let businesses get on with what they’re good at, and that’s business.

One area I think she’s got it right in is protecting the rights of workers in the “gig economy”, working for the likes of Uber and Deliveroo. These are organisations that have taken advantage of loopholes in the system, so they can pay less and offer fewer benefits.

It will at least make them make a choice and draw attention to the issue. I’d like to think that they’ll do the right thing and look after their ’employees.’ There’s some legislation needed in this area.Either way, we’ll decide on June 8th.

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