Last year David Cameron’s Government launched the Red Tape Challenge, a scheme designed to get contractors, freelancers and small business owners involved in the legislative process. The scheme allowed members of the public to vote for the deletion of laws deemed counter-productive or superfluous and, according to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills the Red Tape Challenge has successfully euthanised 160 laws. The Government also introduced a “one in one out” programme for new legislation – meaning they had to scrap one law for every new law brought in.
Unfortunately, a study last year showed that despite the Government’s promises of deregulation, compliance activity for small businesses was actually up, with 84% of SMEs surveyed reporting their costs had increased. This study came before the introduction of the troublesome Agency Workers Regulations, which the Government themselves estimated would cost British businesses £1.5 billion to police. Because the AWR was handed down from the EU, it fell outside the “one in one out” policy.
Now the British Chambers of Commerce has added their voice to the growing concerns over red tape for contractors, freelancers and small businesses. The BCC has called for increased deregulation to allow small firms to acquire the skills they need through extra employees.
Chief Economist at the BCC David Kern said:
“The welcome increase in employment in the last three months was largely due to an increase in people becoming self employed, while the number of people in full time work fell. This highlights the importance for small businesses and the self employed to create new jobs. Cutting red tape and making it easier for people to acquire the right skills is vital.”