The CBI published research today which showed that British households are £3,000 better off by the UK being a member of the EU. Its business case for staying a member has the support of eight in ten CBI members and 77% of small businesses.
What has received surprisingly little press is the fact that staying a member of the EU is great for the rights of UK workers. The EU’s Social Charter has raised standards and protection for the UK’s 30 million workers. The EU has brought fairer pay, working time regulations, equality in the workplace, health and safety, paternity pay etc. Leaving the protection of the EU could risk the start of a ‘race to the bottom’ as businesses seek lower cost strategies to compete internationally – something that would bring prosperity to few in the UK.
As I see it today, the great news is that there has been such clear support from business leaders for maintaining the stronger workforce relations that EU membership helps to generate. Let’s herald today’s significant step towards a more socially responsible, engaging workplace.