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The Beecroft Report: Pandering to Popular Perceptions of Over-regulation

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Abstract

The Coalition government made a commitment to review employment law to ensure flexibility for both parties and enhance business's competitiveness. This led the prime minister to ask venture capitalist Adrian Beecroft to undertake the task of identifying the areas of employment law that presented the greatest burden, and making recommendations for reform. The Beecroft report identifies 16 areas for reform, but the lack of evidence to support his conclusions severely undermines his case. The challenge of increasing employment in a stagnant economy is substantial, and Beecroft's recommendations, if implemented, are unlikely to make a difference. Businesses need to see increased demand and access to finance if they are to take on more workers, but government must also develop a long-term vision of the UK labour market and address weaknesses that existed before the financial crisis.

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