The single most difficult obstacle to growing a successful business in the UK is Employment Law designed for the likes of British Aerospace being imposed on small and even one man band enterprises.


Unemployment could be drastically reduced if this was removed completely for small enterprises and introduced in sensible stages up to the large corporations it was designed for.


See reasons below-

Why is this idea important?

The UK needs to be the seed bed for the next big growth industry, whatever it may be. With employment law as it stands, this is highly unlikely.


Here in Lancashire a local Parish Council recently fired its inept Clerk and by not following the rules to the letter is likely to be forced to pay out half of the entire annual precept to the claimant. Thank you rate payers!


A small business person must know and follow the thousands of miniscule employment regulations to the letter or face possible bankruptcy for their lack of knowledge. 


A few years ago, in Preston a Mr. Patel had two part time ladies helping in his small shop, trade fell and he was faced with making one of them redundant. He liked them both so asked them to decide between them who should stay, they eventually made a decision. However the leaver went to a tribunal and because the very much overworked Mr. Patel had not followed the correct procedure, the claimant was awarded sufficient compensation to close down the store.


Would Marks and Spencer or Tesco ever have got off the ground if the laughably named, Employment Protection Act, had existed in their day? — I think not.


Even, a one man band plumber, wishing to employ an assistant or apprentice is supposed to adhere to a set of rules so complicated that even large HR departments struggle to cope. One slip up, say a few harsh words on an off day and our plumber could easily lose all that he owns just to satisfy a tribunal award.


For the UK to prosper we must be able to give a positive answer to the question –


 “Could Bill Gates start Microsoft here in the UK


Right now, the answer would most definitely be no, as by the time poor old Bill took on his tenth member of staff he would spend most of his time attempting to comply with the Employment Protection Act.


Speaking as the ex MD of a well known US owned furniture manufacturer, based in Lancashire, I can honestly tell you that more management time was taken up with employment related issues than developing the business, this ongoing frustration eventually led to my resignation.


Shortly after resigning, I was re-employed by the Americans to expand factories in Thailand and start up production in China.


Sadly, three years later UK production was ended with the loss of 230 jobs and all products are now imported from China.


Tom Brown

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