The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has criticised the government for what it considers to be a failure to reduce the amount of red tape affecting UK firms, suggesting that new and impending regulations are causing confusion.

Speaking to the Telegraph, BCC employment adviser Abigail Morris warned that firms are faced with a deluge of incoming rules, including the extension of paternity leave and flexible working rights, as well as scrapping the default retirement age (DRA).

“A lot of it is Labour legislation, but the coalition had ample opportunity to delay when it came through,” she said. “They’ve already said they will consult on a new system … but then have chosen to bring in Labour’s paternity leave extension.”

Ms Morris voiced particular concern over the coalition’s intention to end the DRA in April, claiming employers have been given little in the way of guidance on how to adapt to its removal.

Her comments came after the Federation of Small Business expressed dismay over the latest hike in VAT, which it implied could jeopardise the financial viability of some small to medium-sized enterprises.

Posted by Ross George