Our personal experience of the constant challenge of running a small business is enough to convince us that there is no real help from government. Not yet anyway. The banks can fluff all they want about people not asking for finance – well let me enlighten them as to why. I spoke to my Bank Manager and asked her off the record – what was the chance of us getting a very small loan to fund some new equipment and an office move. She said – sorry not a chance – even though the business is doing well, revenues and profits are increasing and we have rarely used our overdraft facility. THAT’S WHY small businesses are not applying for finance – because there is no point.
In terms of employing staff and the ever changing raft of new legislation – nothing seems to be improving there either. 2 “biggies” coming up are the change to increased paternity leave – fathers can now take up to 20 weeks “additional paternity leave” or APL, if the mother has not taken all hers. Also – from 2012 – businesses are going to have to put money into their employees pensions – like it or lump it guys. It is happening. How easily do you think you could find an extra 4% of their pay? Will it wipe out any profits you might have made? Will it prevent you taking on any more staff? How will you fund it? Will you have to let anyone go? All questions to think about.
Our personal experience is back up by the British Chambers of Commerce who state that nothing is changing for the better when it comes to helping small business by reducing red tape and employment legislation.
Despite a pledge from government to tackle the burden of red tape, which is stifling job creation and growth in the UK, the BCC’s Employment Timeline – which was published today – shows a raft of new employment legislation. It will come into force between April 2011 and April 2015.
With seven major changes planned for 2011 alone, the BCC is urging government to match its rhetoric with reality by starting the deregulation process and scrapping costly employment laws which are a burden on business, particularly smaller firms.
According to the Chamber, the constant threat of tinkering with employment law is detrimental to business and has to stop.