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Employment law was the single biggest issue for business owners calling the Forum of Private Business's legal helpline during a five-week period in September and October, which included the 1st October ‘common commencement date' when new regulations come into force.
The Forum's Chief Executive, Phil Orford, said:
"As with much of the legislation affecting small businesses, employment law can be a huge minefield and one of the main problems is that it is constantly changing, with new regulations coming in all the time."
According to 2009 figures from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) a single employment claim can cost an employer £1,800 on average – rising to £13,600 in management time, legal fees, staff replacements and potential awards if the claim proceeds to a tribunal.
Reducing employment tribunals by 10% would result in savings of more than £40 million to UK business, the BIS report said.
The Government has recently announced changes to the tribunal system, including extending the qualification period for the right to claim unfair dismissal extended from one to two years.
The Forum is lobbying for a fairer tribunal system and for employment law to be simplified in order to help small businesses create jobs and drive economic growth as part of its Get Britain Trading campaign.