Fresh red tape hindering job creation in UK

PRIVATE sector firms are still looking to boost employment over the next year, yet fresh regulation threatens to thwart the creation of temporary jobs and the government’s migration cap is causing difficulties for employers.

“Firms are finding the [work permit migration] cap difficult to navigate,” states a report from the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and Harvey Nash today. Among the complaints, nearly two thirds (62 per cent) cited increased complexity, while half reported a “lack of clarity over the rules”.

Another fresh piece of regulation -- the government’s new Agency Workers Directive – is blamed for only 16 per cent of employers expecting to use more temporary workers over the next year. One in five say they will use fewer temps, the CBI research states.

Nonetheless, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are leading the UK’s “tentative jobs recovery”, the survey says. Nearly half (47 per cent) of employers expect their headcounts to be larger this time next year. With 19 per cent predicting job cuts at their firms, the survey reports a positive 28 per cent balance towards job creation.

Among companies with fewer than 250 employees, a larger positive balance of 35 per cent expect to recruit more staff.