Delay new business laws, says FSB

The government should look at postponing the introduction of new business laws that could cost small firms up to £800 million.

The call has come from the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), which argued that new regulations planned for the spring should be held over until later in the year in order to alleviate the growing financial pressure on smaller employers.

A slate of new regulations are due to come into effect on 6 April, the first of the year’s two common commencement dates.

However, the FSB has asked the government to examine each law and assess whether its introduction can be delayed until the second commencement date of 1 October.

Some of the laws that the FSM wants the government to reconsider include: the extension of flexible working to parents of children up to the age of 16; increasing staff holidays by four days; changes to the Home Information Packs that will add a burden to the consumer when the housing market is already struggling; and additional waste control measures.

As well as implementing a moratorium on new employment law until October, the FSB urged the government to assess the economic consequences for small businesses before any new legislation comes into effect later this year.

John Wright, the national chairman of the FSB, said: “The cost of new laws to small businesses this year is huge. Small businesses should be concentrating on keeping jobs, rather than spending time and money carrying out paperwork.

“The FSB demands that the government reconsider all regulation that will cost small firms and help our small business community thrive. The government should wait until October to see if the economy is in a stronger position to cope with this added pressure.”

Mr Wright went on to say that a recession is no time for small firms to find themselves coping with the costs of extra regulation: “Small businesses are already battling with red tape; with the burden and confusion of existing legislation. The small business sector is confident it can help pull us out of the recession. Suspending legislation that could cost small firms up to £800 million will allow them to concentrate on getting the economy back on track.”