More articles Friday 18 August 2017 8:00pm
Trade Minister Mark Price Argues that Greater Employee Engagement is Key to Sustainability
Trade Minister Mark Price says there is “real good will” around the world to “find a way to continue trading” with the UK after it leaves the European Union in two years’ time. He also accused those who argue that it is possible to stay in the Single Market while controlling migration of being “disingenuous”.
“In all of those countries I have visited,” he told the Book Festival, “there is a real good will to want to work with the UK over the course of the next year-and-a-half to find a way to continue trading post-Brexit, so I feel very confident that for the rest of the world we will get to a good place.”
“I personally think people are being disingenuous when they…argue there’s some sort of mystical way you can control migration and still be in the Single Market,” added Lord Price, “that’s not what Europe has said…you can’t have both.”
Formerly Managing Director of Waitrose and Deputy Chairman of the John Lewis Partnership, Lord Price’s book, Fairness for All: Unlocking the power of employee engagement, sets out his concept of “inclusive capitalism” and his hope that British businesses will accept that greater “employee engagement” is key to sustainability.
Price also expressed concern about zero-hours contracts, saying that while research shows they work “for a lot of people”, he still made a point of asking businesses how they could possibly “build a relationship” with their workforce “if they’re only going to work three hours one week, then twelve the next”.
“Can I change legislation in terms of banning zero-hours contracts?” he asked in response to a question from the audience. “No, I probably don’t think I can. Can I stand on a stage like this [and ask] ‘how do you feel involved in that company if you are not there on a longer-term basis?’ That’s what I’m saying is wrong, and that’s why I say we need to be more reflective about how we go forward.”