EU drops solar protection plan

EU PROPOSALS that could have forced farmers to make daily assessments of the sun’s strength to protect farmworkers have been watered down.

The nascent directive, which would have applied to all businesses, has been amended by a committee of the European Parliament so that individual EU member states can decide whether or not extra legislation in this area is required.

Nick Goulding, chief executive of lobby group the Forum of Private Business, welcomed the decision as a ray of sunlight for employers.

“These regulations would have required a level of meteorological knowledge more commonly associated with BBC weatherman Michael Fish than the average business owner.

“It would have been a red tape nightmare and completely unworkable for the vast majority of small businesses.

“Moreover, it could have opened up a can of worms with regard to legal liability. Thankfully, reason has prevailed in the European Parliament.”

UK Work and Pensions Secretary David Blunkett told the Committee this week (w/e July 15) to adopt a “common sense” approach to make the legislation “workable”.