Larger firms hampered by regulation
A report published by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has revealed that firms with more than 50 employees have ambitions to grow, but are held back by a lack of skilled workers and burdensome regulation.
Key findings of the report include:
- The majority of firms (82%) said they found regulations around sickness absence burdensome.
- Asked just before the removal of the Default Retirement Age in April, nearly three quarters of firms (73%) said this change would be detrimental to their business
- More than half of companies (54%) said they found dismissal rules either extremely or fairly burdensome. Firms looking to grow their staffing levels by more than 50% are more likely to see dismissal rules as extremely burdensome, than those looking to stay the same or downsize.
- Dismissal rules are a consideration for businesses when they hire staff. Relaxing rules around dismissal would encourage companies to create jobs.
- Almost half of larger firms (48%) have been threatened with a tribunal claim in the past three years. This rises to 69% for businesses with more than 250 employees.
- Nearly one in four employment tribunal claims were not pursued (23%), wasting the employer’s time and money which could have been better directed at supporting business growth.
- One in two (50%) of the UK’s larger firms use the Working Time Directive opt out, which allows staff to consent to working more than 48 hours a week.
- The removal of the Working Time Directive opt out is under constant threat from Europe. The BCC believes that retaining it is key to allowing large firms the flexibility they rely on when running their business and looking to expand.