Intelligence Briefing - 22 July 2011

Published: 22/07/2011


EEF meets Employment Minister ahead of launch of major new report on workplace flexibility | Business and Enterprise Minister pressed on energy and regulation, Red tape challenge: don’t forget to have your say on regulation | Industrial Emissions Directive | EEF in the news | The week in review | The week ahead


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EEF meets Employment Minister ahead of launch of major new report on workplace flexibility

Next week EEF will be launching a new report, Flexibility in the Modern Manufacturing Workplace . This looks at the UK's approach to employment regulation and the critical importance of labour market flexibility to manufacturing competitiveness.

Ahead of the formal launch of the report, EEF members met to discuss these issues at a private dinner this week with the Employment Minister, Edward Davey MP. In addition to discussing some of the findings of our research, the Minister updated us on the government's current Modern Workplaces consultation and their plans for further employment law reform. In the subsequent discussion members pressed the Minister on the need to simplify and minimise the impact of employment regulation. They also argued that the government should make it easier for employers and employees to have two-ways discussions about working flexibly, without fear of having to follow or fall foul of a regulatory process.

Flexibility in the Modern Manufacturing Workplace , will be available to members on our website from next week.

For further information contact Steven Coventry, Head of Government Affairs.

Business and Enterprise Minister pressed on energy and regulation

In what is a regular dialogue, we have met with Mark Prisk, the Business and Enterprise Minister to discuss support for energy intensive sectors and the government's approach to regulation. Earlier this year the government pledged to introduce measures to alleviate the impact of rising energy prices on energy intensive sectors as a result of climate change legislation. In our discussion with the Minister we outlined key areas where government could support these industries. We also raised some of our priorities ahead of the launch of the manufacturing-focused phase of the government's Red Tape Challenge (see below).

For further information, contact Stephen Radley, Director of Policy and External Affairs

Red tape challenge: don't forget to have your say on regulation

As outlined in the last briefing, the government has this week launched the latest phase of its Red Tape Challenge.

Regulations affecting manufacturing are the focus of this for four weeks from 21 July 2011. There is also an ongoing opportunity to comment on and challenge regulations in six cross-cutting areas affecting the whole economy - health and safety, environment, equalities, pensions, company law and employment law.

Participating in the Red Tape Challenge is an opportunity to tell government how regulations are affecting your business, how they could be improved and where they should be scrapped.

Manufacturers feeling the burden of regulation are encouraged to get involved by visiting

Please see the attached briefing note for more details on how to participate, read how we are getting involved and gain insight into some of areas of regulation we believe are in urgent need of reform.

Influencing the adoption of the Industrial Emissions Directive

EEF received the views of Defra officials on the transposition into UK law of the Industrial Emissions Directive. The Industrial Emissions Directive brings together seven existing directives on industrial emissions and pollution prevention. The transposition of the regulation is not expected to require whole scale change. However the recast of the directive provides member states with a number of optional derogations; notably energy efficiency requirements for EU-ETS installations and multiple operator permits. The UK government will also need to consider the inclusion of additional waste activities and legacy activities. EEF will consult members and feed in our views in advance of the formal consultation early next year.

For further information contact Fergus McReynolds, Senior Climate and Environment Adviser


News, intelligence and expert opinion for manufacturers

The latest edition of Insights - our member magazine - is now available to read online.



Call to members – opportunity to get involved in the BIS Outreach programme

EEF is encouraging members to get involved in the new BIS Outreach programme, which aims to increase understanding and strengthen relationships between the Business Department and its key stakeholders. Under this programme, BIS staff will visit your company for one to two days to learn about how you operate, the challenges facing your business and your views on government policy. This is essentially aimed at giving senior officials from the Department a taster of what it's really like on the ground for UK businesses.

BIS has stated that companies getting involved in this project will benefit in a number of ways, including:

  • A government perspective on your organisation
  • Help with government-related issues you face
  • A contact in central government, should you face problems or need advice in future
  • Specialist insight into organisational operations from a BIS staff member
  • An opportunity to use an additional expert resource – you can put the BIS staff member to use in your organisation wherever you see fit
  • An opportunity to discuss BIS's policies with the people responsible for producing them

In turn the Department will gain a better understanding of your organisation: how it operates, its challenges and wider issues, particularly in relation to Government policy. This will help to ensure the Department provides relevant opportunities for you and takes your perspective into account.

Importantly, the Department is taking a hands-off approach to better meet the needs of your business. You will get to shape the nature of how the placement will run alongside the department in advance. To get involved in this project, simply fill in the BIS Outreach application form and set your own date and objectives for a placement.

For more information or to get involved, please visit or get in touch with the BIS Stakeholder Team directly on 020 7215 0971 with any queries you may have. Alternatively, if you would like support from EEF in arranging a placement from the Department please don't hesitate to get in touch with us and we'd be happy to help.

For more information, please contact Steve Radley, Director of Policy & External Affairs


Economics and energy led our media coverage this week. Our latest pay data showing a levelling off of settlements was covered in the Financial Times, Independent and Times (subscription required) whilst energy continues to rise up the political agenda with our views being reported in a Financial Times piece about rising costs. Separately, our views on the Eurozone were reported in an editorial commentary in City AM.


MPC minutes

The MPC once again kept rates on hold with the voting pattern on the MPC unchanged from last month. Spencer Dale and Martin Weale called for a 25 basis point rate rise; and Adam Posen called for an increase in the asset purchase programme of £50bn.

Public Sector Finances

Public sector net borrowing (excluding financial interventions) was £14.0bn June, compared with £13.6bn in June last year. This was some way above the consensus expectation of £12.5bn.

Public sector net debt (excluding financial interventions) was £944.3bn (equivalent to 61.9% of GDP) at the end of June 2011 compared with £803.7bn (55.3% GDP) at the end of June 2010.

Retail Sales

Between May and June the volume of retail sales rose by 0.7% while the value rose by 0.3%. Growth in the volume of sales was driven by discounting on the part of retailers.


Tuesday 26 July: GDP Q2; Index of Services

Friday 29 July: Lending to individuals;

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Trade Body of the Year, Public Affairs Awards 2011; Best Rebrand by Sector - manufacturing and Best Implementation of a Rebrand