Sunday 26 January 2020

Company law 'becoming a minefield'

Colm Kelpie

COMPANY law is becoming increasingly difficult for small businesses, with two-thirds of those surveyed operating without dedicated HR resources, business chiefs have warned.

Small Firms Association (SFA) acting director Avine McNally said the legislation was a "minefield for small businesses".

"As an employer, there are over 40 pieces of primary legislation relating to employment that must be dealt with, irrespective of whether the company employs one or 1,000 staff," she said.

Some of the main findings of the survey include:

* 64pc of small businesses do not have a dedicated HR resource.

* 46pc viewed employment law compliance to be a significant regulatory burden.

* 87pc indicated that there was no visible reduction in employment law administrative burden.

* One in five viewed employment law as a disincentive to taking on staff.

The survey was carried out last month among 547 small firms drawn from manufacturing, distribution, retail and services sectors.

"Employment law is an area that is becoming increasingly onerous for businesses, particularly for those firms that do not have any specialist in-house resources," Ms McNally said.

"While it is important the legislation protects the employment relationship, imposing compliance and administrative costs on firms weakens their ability to adapt to changing market conditions."

Irish Independent

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