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Limit red tape to once a term, FSB pleads

If there’s one thing the Government loves it’s red tape – especially when it comes to employment regulations – but the FSB says enough is enough!

The Forum of Small Businesses has decided to go to bat for the entirety of the small business community by telling the Government flat-out that there’s no need to regulate employment law more than once in each parliamentary term. In fact, the FSB says that contractors, limited companies and sole traders all end up paying through the nose due to this red tape to the point that 2013’s regulatory costs to small businesses amounted to something like £14,800 each – or an eye-watering £18.2 billion taken altogether!

Compliance with employment law, especially regulations relating to National Insurance contributions, income tax and issues like IR35 for freelancers, can be incredibly costly. Some £4.7 billion of the entirety of Government compliance costs is strictly employment law, and with the constant changes to the regulations it’s enough to make anyone’s head spin. Of course smaller firms suffer more in situations like this, especially self-employed Brits who regularly feel like they’re flying by the seat of their pants anyhow.

So, do you think the Government will listen? Perhaps not this one but the next? I don’t know; your guess is likely as good as mine. Whatever the decision is, you can’t really deny the fact that the FSB has an absolute fantastic idea, even if it would be a bit on the radical side. Long gaps between regulatory reforms could provide some much-needed relief to many Brits currently suffering under the yoke of confusing or unduly harsh employment regulations, and slowing down the slow encroachment of further regulation to once a parliamentary term could do much to reduce the frustration many self-employed feel. Of course this also means long stretches of time that go by without even a thought to reform of particularly poor legislation and regulations as well, exposing loopholes to be exploited by those less reputable than others. As much as I would hope that there would be no one trying to game a system that only had one opportunity for regulatory review a year I do fear that it would just be abused, much like many regulations are circumvented today. What would change, in the end?

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