Flexible jobs market helps UK startups as more British businesses survive first year

 
Tim Wallace
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Of the 234,000 firms launched in Britain in 2011, 93 per cent lasted at least one year (Source: Getty)
New British businesses are more likely than European firms to survive their first year, consultancy Rousseau Associates said yesterday, as rules on hiring and firing staff are more flexible.

Of the 234,000 firms launched in Britain in 2011, 93 per cent lasted at least one year.

By contrast only 83 per cent of those in the rest of Europe survived over the same timeframe.

The figures for France and Germany are even worse, at 79 per cent and 78 per cent respectively.

The worst performance among countries measured came in Lithuania, at 65.6 per cent, and Portugal at 69.2 per cent.

But Social Democrat-ruled Sweden topped the UK, with 95.4 per cent of firms survive for more than a year.

“UK SMEs have been given a helping hand with favourable Government policies, which have allowed them to keep growth on track,” said Michael Heath from Rousseau.

“While zero-hours contracts have often been misunderstood they can offer both employers and employees flexibility. They enable casual, parttime or short-term employment for those just starting out or returning to work, and it allows employers to have more flexibility over their wage bill and number of employees.”

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