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Barriers to growth need to be removed
There has been an increase in the number of people working for themselves in recent years. But how much do politicians and others know about the views of sole traders?
The British Chambers of Commerce have sought their views on things like barriers to recruitment and what might encourage them to employ someone.
Only five per cent chose self-employment because of redundancy or unemployment, and the survey showed that the willingness to take on staff decreases the longer a business has been running.
Almost half of those operating for less than six months wanted to increase their numbers by 50 per cent by 2015; only 20 per cent of the ‘three years plus’ category wanted to expand.
The top reasons for not wanting to employ were pension requirements, dismissal rules and sickness absence. If there is a desire to see new businesses grow, changing policies would definitely help. The Government should look at exemptions for national insurance contributions, pensions and extending the qualifying period for some employment rights.
Entrepreneurs said they started businesses because they wanted autonomy and freedom, yet these are precisely the areas that might be limited.
The survey indicates that real barriers to growth lie with complying with legislation and related costs and risks. This is where changes need to be made.