LABOUR are reportedly rowing back on their commitment to strengthening workers’ rights in a bid to discredit Tory claims that the party is “anti-business”.

At Labour’s national policy forum in Nottingham last month, party leaders watered down a promise to boost the protection of gig economy workers, according to sources and documents seen by the Financial Times.

It comes just a day after the SNP challenged Keir Starmer to commit to devolving employment laws to Holyrood, as it was revealed that Scotland has become the UK hotspot for the use of zero-hours contracts.

The SNP’s leader in Westminster, Stephen Flynn, previously said it was Westminster control of employment law which had allowed zero-hours contracts to flourish in Scotland despite “widespread” opposition.

The Labour deputy leader, Angela Rayner, then insisted in a visit to Scotland yesterday that the SNP’s call for devolved employment laws is not needed amid Labour’s ‘new deal’ for workers.

The deputy Labour leader met apprentices in Glasgow as she set out her party’s plans to enhance workers’ rights.

They include protection against unfair dismissal, sick pay from day one and banning zero-hour contracts and fire and rehire policies.

The National: SNP Westminster group leader Stephen Flynn speaking during Prime Minister's Questions

But a text agreed last month to be published in the run-up to Labour’s annual conference in October was seen by the FT and reportedly showed that the party is watering down its pledges to both create a single status of “worker” to guarantee “basic rights and protections” for all, including those in the gig economy.

It also reportedly showed that the party’s prior plans to introduce “basic individual rights” for new recruits on probation were also being diluted.

The move to dilute another prior Labour policy commitment comes ahead of a General Election next year, with both main UK parties vying for the support of business leaders.

The UK’s largest union, Unite, and left-wing campaign group Momentum have slammed the move, with the latter accusing the Labour leadership of bowing to “corporate interests”.

Politico Playbook also reported that a Labour official didn’t deny the story, saying “businesses are no longer running scared of us, but running towards us — whether that’s donating money or sitting down with us to write our plans for growth.”

A party official told the Financial Times: “Labour are listening to business and unions to make sure we’ve got credible plans on the economy.”