Employment rules most 'expensive' for small firms

Complying with employment law is the costliest bureaucratic burden faced by small firms, a new survey has claimed.

According to the latest quarterly referendum of its members carried out by the Forum of Private Business (FPB), the UK’s small firms spend the equivalent of £2.4 billion a year in complying with employment regulations, more than any other type of legislation.

The survey found that smaller employers spend £259 million on work connected with dismissals and redundancy.

A further £391 million goes on absence control and management, £237 million on maternity issues, £333 million on handling disciplinary matters, and £1,175 million on holidays and other areas.

On average, the survey revealed, small businesses invest 10 hours each month dealing with all the different aspects of employment law.