Hays calls for a halt to new employment laws

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Recruitment consultant Hays will today call for a moratorium on new employment laws from whichever party wins the next election.

Hays will warn that Britain is losing its position as a centre of employment. It blames rising tax, regulation and a chronic skills shortage. Unveiling a "Manifesto for Employment", Hays's chief executive Alistair Cox said: "Britain needs to change its attitudes and support for employment."

Mr Cox also called for a freeze on employers' national insurance contributions and for action to limit the impact of the EU’s Agency Workers Directive, which seeks to equalise their rights with full time staff.

The company is the UK’s biggest recruitment consultant and placed 50,000 professional

people in permanent jobs and a further 300,000 in temporary assignments.

Further measures it calls for are the provision of a “first-class education system, which equips all school leavers with basic skills and a commercial understanding”.

It wants further education to be reformed with a strategic focus on the economy, together with giving

the business community an advisory role in university course and curriculum provision.

Other demands include an increase in government funding for apprenticeships, a call for the introduction of commercial disciplines and improvements to management in the public sector and for Jobcentre Plus outlets to be “reconfigured” to suit real job seeker needs

Mr Cox also wants to tie immigration quotas more closely to skill needs

He added: “The statistics say it all; there are more than 8 million non-working adults in this country and yet many of the employers we speak to daily are suffering severe shortages of staff with the appropriate skills. This cannot be the foundation for a vibrant and competitive economy.”

Mr Cox said the ideas came from the company’s consultations with clients and stressed that Hays was happy to work with any political party.