10 May 2018


Westminster update

May starts with high levels of engagement for the CBI

Westminster update

Last week, CBI Director-General, Carolyn Fairbairn, met Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling, to discuss aviation and Brexit. On aviation, Heathrow and aviation strategy were discussed and on Brexit, Carolyn shared some insights from our EU counterparts and flagged that members would appreciate reassurance on timescales. Going forward we will continue to work with DfT, especially on CBI’s infrastructure work that was discussed at the last round of regional councils.

Also last week, Carolyn and CBI President, Paul Drechsler, joined the Business Secretary’s, roundtable where discussion centred on the Apprenticeship Levy, with Education Secretary, Damian Hinds, also in attendance. During the meeting, Carolyn and Paul highlighted CBI members’ view that the Levy, in its current form, is not working as intended and reform was needed to encourage more investment in high-quality training.

Elsewhere, in Scotland, Ruth Davidson, Scottish Conservative leader and MSP for Edinburgh Central spoke at a CBI Scotland diversity event. The event was part of the CBI LGBT network and was held in association with Standard Life Aberdeen and ScottishPower. Interviewed by broadcaster Shereen Nanjian, Ms Davidson highlighted the need for greater workforce diversity in the business world. The event received media coverage in the Scotsman and video highlights can be found here

This week CBI Head of Group, Employment Law and Employee Relations, Matthew Percival, met Minister for Small Business, Consumers and Corporate Responsibility, Andrew Griffiths and Financial Secretary to the Treasury and Paymaster General, Mel Stride, to discuss the employment status consultation launched in response to the Taylor Review.

At the roundtable Matthew talked about how the enforcement of employment status was the problem rather than the law itself and how the government should not seek to align the employment rights status test with the employment tax status test. This is due to the problems that the tax test has created for businesses already. The CBI is currently holding a consultation on employment status, to add your view contact Elliot Mason.

Finally, this week Carolyn met John Manzoni, Chief Executive of the Civil Service to discuss the need for public-private partnerships in the wake of Carillion and the need for more to be done to champion businesses’ contributions. Carolyn also highlighted new CBI research which shows that more can be done to improve access to public contracts and encourage greater take-up of Cabinet Office guidance.

For more information please contact Hannah.collins@cbi.org.uk