Dismissal rules are too complex, tribunal cases are endemic, and the vast majority of small firms are buying in extra external resource to ensure they are compliant with employment regulation. The more staff they take on, the more likely they are to face claims – the risk is that one bad recruitment decision could wipe out a whole year’s profit, or worse.

We recognise the Government has taken some steps towards improving the Tribunal system, but with new agency rules, parental rights and pensions changes all coming down the track before 2015, the net result for our small firms will be negative. The more flexible the employment market is the more jobs will be created. Business owners want to recruit – the Government must provide a simplified and stable regulatory environment to encourage them to do so.