Local MEP, Anthea McIntyre, hosted a working lunch in Brussels to launch a report showing that the number of self-employed professionals has doubled in the last ten years.  The report found that employment rates had generally stagnated during the same period.

Prepared by French economist, Stephane Rapelli, on behalf of the European Forum of Independent Professionals (EFIP), the report suggests that the nations with the healthiest number of ‘independent professionals’ are also those that display the most resilience during times of economic hardship.

Britain has 1.6 million ‘independent professionals ‘ – more than Germany or France – and the number is growing rapidly.

Miss McIntyre, who is the Conservative Employment Spokesman is Brussels, said: "The fact that there is growth in freelancing despite tough economic conditions is encouraging for both the sector and for the economy as a whole. The report not only provides evidence of growth, it also presents policy makers with crucial insight into the makeup of the sector, which is why I was delighted to host the launch.

“The diversity of professions that attract self-employed entrepreneurs is staggering and their important contribution to the economy cannot be underestimated.  It is crucial that policy-makers understand this growing  form of employment better and avoid imposing unnecessary regulatory burdens on those who are driving our economy forward.”

A copy of the full report can be downloaded here:


Local MEP, Anthea McIntyre, has welcomed news that the Presidents of the Royal Colleges of Surgeons and Physicians have warned that the restrictions on hours for doctors need to be changed.

Under the Working Time Directive the number of hours doctors can work in a week is limited to 48 and means they cannot work long shifts followed by long breaks.

The Royal College Presidents, Professor Norman Williams and Sir Richard Thompson, are supporting government efforts to negotiate a change on a European level because of the damage it is doing to health care in Britain.

Miss McIntyre said: "By restricting doctors' working hours to 48 hours a week, these rules do no good for patients, nor for the clinicians themselves.

“Pity the poor hospital patients who now see a string of different men and women in white coats passing their bedside, none of them there long enough to develop a meaningful doctor-patient relationship or perhaps even to achieve a truly comprehensive grasp of their case.

“Hospital administrators know this is a bad arrangement and a costly one.  Doctors know it is a bad arrangement and a dangerous one. Patients and taxpayers are the ones suffering the consequences.”

Miss McIntyre went on to stress: “Obviously nobody is advocating a situation where doctors are too tired to do their work properly but the inflexibility of the Working Time Directive causes real harm.

"The Working Time Directive is an unnecessary and unwanted measure that does no good for patients, doctors or taxpayers."

Prof Williams, president of the Royal College of Surgeons, said: "There is little doubt that the EU working time restrictions are having an impact on patient care.

"Instead of seeing familiar faces at their bedside, the patient gets a conveyer belt of doctors on different shift patterns.

"The rotas brought in to keep hospitals compliant with the legislation leave senior doctors and juniors little time to establish working relationships which are vital for passing on valuable knowledge.

“Moreover, the fact that so many young doctors are compelled to break the hours limit and work voluntarily, if they are to do a proper handover properly or take on night shifts, shows how failed this legislation has been.”

West Midlands MEP Anthea McIntyre has condemned a raft of proposals which would make it much harder for companies to restructure their operations in difficult times that has been adopted by the European Parliament today (Tues).

The report from the parliament's Employment Committee recommends new rules which would require any company with more than 100 staff go through a lengthy and complicated process before any restructuring - and would even make the firm responsible for retraining employees facing redundancy.

In her role as Conservative employment spokesman Anthea McIntyre has consistently opposed the proposals as a "socialist wish list" which would destroy the ability of struggling companies to stay afloat. She believes the proposed rules would leave them hamstrung at the very time they need to move promptly and effectively to restructure and save their businesses.

After today's vote in Strasbourg she said: "It is a disappointment that a majority of MEPs have chosen to back proposals which are unrealistic, impractical and self-defeating. These measures would not save a single job but could instead push struggling companies into collapse.

According to the proposals the legislation would become applicable if restructuring operations would affect at least 100 employees in a single company or 500 employees in a company and its dependent companies in one or more member states over a period of three months. As “dependent companies” could include any sub-contractor or supplier the proposal would lead to a very high degree of legal uncertainty for almost any employer in Europe.

The proposals specify that the restructuring company would be obliged to give an early explanation and justification to “all relevant stakeholders”. It would then be obliged to follow a checklist of alternatives which would have to be considered before a restructuring would take place.

The employer would also be made responsible for retraining redundant employees for employment in new jobs with other employers. Companies would be obliged to negotiate social plans and to monitor on a permanent basis the "psycho-social health" of redundant staff.

Another clause insists that "relevant measures should be taken several months prior to the proposed restructuring" and should "include the prompt provision of retraining courses".

Miss McIntyre said: "Fortunately these are not legislative proposals. They are in a so-called own-initiative report so the vote does not make them law. The European Commission is, however, obliged to respond to the suggestions and MEPs voted to urge the Commission to come forward as soon as possible with a legal act.

"I hope the response will be a sensible and practical one and will take note of our very grave fears about the thrust of these proposals."

Local MEP Anthea McIntyre has again spoken out against some of the crazy proposals being discussed in Europe that would, if implemented, destroy many local businesses and thousands of jobs.

Addressing a Breakfast Meeting organised by Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce on Friday, 25th January, Anthea McIntyre highlighted the potential damage of a raft of proposals including those affecting pensions, the rights of companies seeking to restructure their operations, changes to Electromagnetic Fields Directive and a review of Directives covering  musculoskeletal issues and workplace ergonomics.

“As the Conservative Employment spokesman I spend much of my time working to defeat far too many attempts to impose additional burdens on small and medium-sized enterprises without proper consideration of the damage they would cause those businesses.

“Similarly, there are endless worthy reports that overlook the essential truth that EU growth plans do not create jobs - businesses do.

“Conservative MEPs are committed to economic growth and the development of more flexible labour markets and we oppose any initiatives that increase administrative burdens or, especially in the field of health and safety legislation, put gesture politics above robust evidence.

“I particularly welcome the Prime Minister’s recent speech on our future relationship with the European Union and I fully support the holding of an In/Out Referendum when those negotiations are complete.  It is absolutely right that the British people decide our future relationship with the EU.

“In the meantime, I shall continue to do all I can within the European Parliament to protect British workers and businesses from unnecessary and burdensome regulations and the use whatever opportunities arise to promote British business.”


A Birmingham-based company’s success in exporting its coffee-making machines to all five continents has won them national recognition.

Fracino celebrated its  50th anniversary by scooping the Outstanding Export Award from the prestigious EEF Future Manufacturing Awards panel  and  later went on to win the ultimate award, the Winner of Winners.

“I am delighted to congratulate the management and staff of the UK’s only manufacturer of cappuccino and espresso coffee machines on their achievements,” said Birmingham Conservative MEP, Anthea McIntyre.

“It is great news for Fracino and is further proof that UK manufacturers are amongst the best in the world.

“In my role as the Conservative Employment spokesman in Europe, I am particularly keen to highlight the successes of our local businesses and to do whatever I can to help them thrive.”

Fracino was founded in 1963 and their website is:  http://www.fracino.com/