The British Chambers of Commerce’s second annual employment legislation timeline shows that although the cost to employers of the 1% NICs rise in April 2011 is greatly reduced, following government action, the Government has failed to stem the flow of new employment legisaltion – and, indeed, they have added to it.Unusually,this Government has claimed that two of its regulatory interventions (the removal of the Default Retirement Age and an extension to the Right to Request Flexible Working, both in April 2011) are actually net benefits to UK businesses, even though the business view is that the stated benefits will not materialise.

The promised reform of the Employment Tribunal system is welcome, but as yet there is no timescale for its implementation – and the potential cost savings to business are dwarfed by new burdens. Will this Government continue to make it more expensive to employ people – or enable businesses to take on staff and create new jobs?