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Posted by on in Unfair Dismissal
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Employment regulation restricting firms' growth

Recent research by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has shown that firms with more than 50 employees have ambitions to grow, but are frustrated by a lack of skilled labour in the UK, and burdensome regulation.


Many firms are unable to find the skilled workers they need in the UK, and less than a third of businesses (28%) believe that the UK workforce is more skilled than other EU countries.


The majority (57%) of firms in the UK with more than fifty staff employ some migrant workers. For almost half (47%) of these businesses, the majority of their migrant workforce is from outside the EU. Therefore, the government’s ambition to reduce net migration is of particular concern.


With regard to employment legislation:


  • 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.
  • 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.


Commenting on the report, John Longworth, Director General of the BCC, said:


“Regulations, particularly around sickness absence and dismissal rules, are a huge burden on larger firms, at a time when we should be encouraging businesses to expand.


"These findings bust the myth that large firms can cope with constant changes to employment law and the associated costs, particularly around the tribunal system. Tribunal reforms must be implemented in full and without delay, and the consultation on introducing a new dismissal route for micro firms must be expanded to include all firm sizes."



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