IoD Week in Policy 9 – 13 October 2023

It’s been a fun week in the policy team. From rubbing shoulders with the glitterati at the Labour Conference, to seeing a positive GDP figure, to coming together to present our quarterly policy update to members, it’s been lively.

Emerging from the shadow? – Our final week of conference hopping took us to Liverpool, where Keir Starmer and the Labour party hosted their gig. Our impression of the mood was hat it was a bit more buoyant, perhaps more sparkly, than the Conservative affair in Manchester. In terms of policy, there was a conscious and deliberate emphasis on the role of a potential future Labour government to work in partnership with business to further the country’s aims. How will they do this? We won’t spoil it here – go and read our write up for the full details.

Balancing act – The ONS released data that shows monthly GDP rose by 0.2% in August, following a fall of 0.6% in July. It is reassuring to have a little positive news about the state of our economy. However, before we get our hopes up too high, we should mention the contraction in consumer-facing services. Here’s why.

Kinds of benefits – We responded to a Treasury consultation on tax incentives for occupational health provision, such as flu vaccinations, welfare counselling, private medical insurance or health screenings. Based on key IoD member data from Policy Voice, the IoD is calling on the government to expand the range of occupational health services covered by Benefit in Kind tax exemptions.

Flexible working – We asked members about their flexible working practices, and a large majority of business leaders (84%) plan to offer their staff remote working in the long-term. Flexible working is proving to be a valuable tool for retaining staff, especially against a backdrop of acute skills and labour shortages in the UK. Find out more here.

A Direct Update – Our Director’s Quarterly Update report for October 2023 has gone live. The report is exclusive to IoD members, and is intended to provide a snapshot of recent developments in the economy, public policy, regulation and corporate governance. This quarter, we cover a range of topics, from HS2, to the Party Conferences, the Corporate Governance Code, Occupational Health and updates from us here in the IoD Policy Team. Find the full pack here.

Policy Voice – The Policy Voice survey is one of the IoD’s key member benefits and a crucial tool for the Policy Unit. We collect statistical and anecdotal evidence on how our members view topical policy developments. Our most recent poll went live on Thursday, and all of our members should have an email in their inbox to respond to. This month we are keen for views on HS2, growth ambitions, net zero planning, and for our Scottish members, how satisfied you are in the Scottish Government’s engagement with business. All of our data will be sent to the government, and will be publicised on the website in our Policy Voice Data Hub.

Next week, watch out for…  

Tuesday 17 October

  • The ONS will be releasing UK labour market statistics for October 2023

Wednesday 18 October

  • The ONS will release inflation statistics for September 2023

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