Health and safety tops SME costs

A survey of around 500 businesses conducted by the Forum of Private Business (FPB) has shown that complying with health and safety regulations is considered the costliest form of ‘red tape’ for small firms.

A survey of around 500 businesses conducted by the Forum of Private Business (FPB) has shown that complying with health and safety regulations is considered the costliest form of ‘red tape’ for small firms.

Len Collinson, Chairman of the FPB, is due to announce the results of the study at the first Small Firms’ Summit in Westminster on 18 October, saying that ‘regulations are the bane of the smaller business owner, costly in administration and a distraction from more profitable activity.’

The one-day conference is will host more than 200 managers and directors who run their own businesses. The Rt Hon David Cameron MP, Leader of the Conservative Party, will appear as the keynote speaker.

According to the survey, small businesses find the burden of regulatory compliance particularly onerous, with 30 per cent of respondents saying health and safety placed the most cost on their business. Operating with fewer resources, increasingly demanding legislation means that small firms feel the pressure more acutely than their larger counterparts.

PAYE, tax and National Insurance rules were listed second with 25 per cent of the vote, whilst 11 per cent thought maternity and paternity rights cost their business the most.

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