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Directors that fail to protect well-being should be disqualified

The Liberal Democrats have released a new policy paper calling for employers who fail to protect their employees’ well-being to be disqualified. The disqualification would be similar to the way companies are dealt with for financial impropriety. This measure would be used for “serious failures.”

The policy paper, entitled, A New Purpose for Politics: Quality of Life, states that employers should take measures to improve the workplace. Their success is measured through employee satisfaction. The paper also states that employers should be prepared to offer flexible working to employees.

The paper states: ”We do not believe it is for government to set targets for employers to meet these challenges, but we do believe it is a liberal approach for employers to provide information on them. By 2014, the 9,000 or so large organisations which together employ 50% of the UK workforce should report on employee satisfaction and the extent of flexible working.”

Simon Hughes, Deputy Liberal Democrat leader and the person who released the report, said: “In the UK we have one of the most unequal distributions of work in the developed world. Almost four out of every ten men and nearly one out of every eight women work more than 45-hours a week – more than twice as many as our western European neighbours. This is a particular problem in the financial sector and at the top of large businesses, where many people work extremely long hours accumulating huge amounts of money, which they barely have the time to spend. At the same time we also have one of the highest rates of people who work less than 20-hours a week. It is simply not justifiable or sane for so many to be so overworked when even more young, and the not so young, are standing by with no productive work to do.”