Government urged to use Covid-19 pandemic to tackle business ‘bad behaviour’

Former shadow chancellor John McDonnell is urging the Government to use the Covid-19 pandemic to “stamp out bad behaviour” from businesses across the country.

The Labour MP insisted that firms guilty of poor employment practices should not receive state help.

In his first major intervention since leaving Labour’s front bench, he will put forward a Business Standards Bill, aimed at tackling those firms that use fire and rehire tactics and zero-hour contracts, avoid tax and pollute the environment.

His proposals include an accreditation scheme for firms that meet standards over the treatment of workers, the payment of taxes and environmental practices, with a Good Business Commission – made up of representatives from the business world together with unions, environmental campaigners and others – set up to oversee it.

But this new body would also have powers to impose sanctions on rogue employers, under the plan set out by Mr McDonnell.

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