Category: Small business insurance
The government is being urged to be bolder in its attempts to help small business grow, according to a leading trade association.
A report from the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) shows a net balance of 6.5 per cent of smaller companies plan to lay off workers in the first three months of 2012, as they look to stay afloat while meeting essential costs such as office rent and small business insurance.
With unemployment already at a 17-year high of 2.68 million, this could be bad news for the small business sector, which is regularly cited as one the most important elements of the economic recovery.
Furthermore, the Voice of Small Business report showed that a balance of 4.8 per cent of companies in this sector cut their headcount in the final quarter of 2011.
The FSB is therefore urging the government to incentivise job creation, helping smaller firms weather the storm and drive the economy forward.
Specifically, it wants to see micro firms made exempt from employee right to request flexible working, as well as simplified maternity and paternity leave.
Smaller companies should also be exempt from regulations which require employers who lose a tribunal case to carry out a long and costly pay audit.
John Walker, national chairman of the FSB, says while the future may look bleak, there is no need for the outlook to be so negative.
"If the government makes the right choices and puts action into words we can turn this around," he said.
"The government has a good chance to make a real difference to the livelihoods of small firms when it reports on the Modern Workplaces consultation."
However, Lucy Armstrong, chair of the Confederation of British Industry's Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises Council, believes that smaller firms are performing better than many people realise, and have the potential to save the UK from a deep and prolonged recession.
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