FSB mounts anti-red tape crusade on parliament

Employers are sending a "bumper pack" to Members of Parliament this New Year to demonstrate just how much red tape firms have to deal with.

The Federation of Small Businesses is coordinating the campaign through its regions and branches. The FSB is the UK's leading small business organisation with 168,000 members.

The red tape in question is the hefty PAYE Employers Pack sent out on an annual basis to employers by the Inland Revenue. It contains over seventeen items including a statutory sick say manual, National Insurance tables, tax codes, tax tables, employers bulletins and planners.

Bill Knox, FSB Employment Spokesman said, "the forms and guides are forever changing and need to be read and understood by all employers, even if they employ just one person. Many entrepreneurs dread taking on their first employee because of all the red tape involved."

The FSB has launched this campaign at a time when MPs are busy considering a new Employment Bill going through Parliament. The Bill includes proposals on employment tribunals, flexible working and parental leave.

Mr Knox said, "there is no doubt that the Bill is hard on small employers which can only harm productivity. The Inland Revenue's Employers Pack, which isn't far short of the thickness of The Lord of the Rings, will be even more complex once this Bill becomes law."

The FSB is working with MPs on the Standing Committee in the House of Commons suggesting amendments to the Employment Bill in order to reduce its regulatory impact on small businesses in particular.

Bill Knox said, "we are aware that MPs themselves employ on average 3 to 4 staff as researchers and secretaries. However all the employment procedures for their staff are handled by the House of Commons Fees Office and so they never get to see the Employers Pack."

"Employers cannot take much more red tape without their ability to create new jobs being affected. If Parliamentarians refuse to listen, the ability of small employers to hold onto existing jobs will also be affected," Mr Knox concluded.

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