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The anti-data agenda of special interests

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The home secretary, Amber Rudd, has defended proposals to require companies to publish the number of international staff they employ, the Guardian reported.

[Amber Rudd defends proposal to make firms reveal foreign staff numbers, Jessica Elgot, The Guardian, 5 October 2016]

The proposal has been criticised by several high-profile business leaders, including the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC). Rudd, who has set out a consultation paper on how to encourage businesses to hire British staff, denied the lists were intended as a “badge of shame”.

“We should be able to have a conversation about immigration, we should be able to have a conversation about what skills we want to have in the UK and whether we need to go out of the UK in order to get them to boost our economy and I don’t think we should have a situation where we can’t talk about it,” she told BBC Radio 4’s Today.

“Badge of shame.”

Is collection of data about the numbers of people on zero-hours contracts a “badge of shame”, or useful information for debate and public policy?

If data about international staff employed is ‘xenophobic’, then presumably, data about numbers of male and female staff is ‘misandrist’ or ‘misogynist’. And figures about differently-abled staff must be ‘disablist’.

Special interest groups, such as chambers of commerce, and the Confederation of British Industry, would prefer that there was no information about the number of female staff, number of people on zero-hours contracts, or number of foreign workers.

It seems unlikely that companies will be required to publish the number of international staff they employ. It could be quite embarrassing for the government. For example, London’s Crossrail project has been promoted by the government on its ‘UK job benefits’. But what proportion of Crossrail’s workforce are ‘UK workers’?

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Written by beleben

October 5, 2016 at 10:03 am

Posted in Industry, Politics

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