Published on 25 - September - 2009
FPB reduces headache of employment lawNew employment guide designed to help small businesses comply with employment laws, as companies are forced to make redundancies in tough times.
The Forum of Private Business (FPB) has launched its new employment guide, designed to help small businesses comply with employment law - an increasing headache for companies who are forced to make redundancies because of the recession or dismiss staff following disciplinary breaches.
The guide was launched after the FPB's recent Referendum survey, the 'Cost of Compliance', revealed that complying with employment legislation is the costliest administrative burden faced by small businesses in the UK, totalling almost £2.4bn per year.
The FPB's members' helpline revealed that more than one in three of all calls in August this year related to employment matters. 14% were redundancy queries, while 7% were calls about dismissals. Queries about disciplinary matters made up 12% of the total.
The employment guide is updated annually and contains guidance and practical help on every aspect of employment. Earlier this year, the FPB launched www.smallbusinesschannel.co.uk to provide entrepreneurs with free, video-based information on business-related issues, including employment law.
On October 1, business owners will face a raft of legal changes, including an increase in the National Minimum Wage and an increase in the cost of redundancy.
The FPB's policy representative Matt Goodman said: "Many firms are worried that they are not following the correct redundancy procedures when they have to lay off staff. Looking ahead to October's one-off increase in the weekly wage limit used to calculate redundancy payments, they are also concerned that it is becoming a more expensive process.
He added: "There is a knock-on effect. The increase will also affect other statutory compensation payments, including unfair dismissal awards, compensation for non-compliance with flexible working procedures and compensation should a statement of employment particulars not be provided to an employee."
With news that the number of employment tribunals having soared from around 115,000 n 2005 to almost 190,000 in 2008, Mr Goodman urged businesses to put "watertight procedures" in place via the new employment guide. For more information, visit www.fpb.org/employmentguide
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