Redundancy and workforce disputes remain the biggest staffing headaches for small business owners, according to the Forum of Private Businesses (FPB).

However, it also finds fewer business owners seeking help, suggesting, it says, that employment issues could be becoming less pressing concerns as the economy recovers.

In total, 38% of calls made to the FPB’s helpline in the third quarter of 2010 concerned redundancy, disciplinary matters, grievances, dismissals or employee conduct. The figure is consistent with the previous two quarters, although at 41% it was slightly higher in quarter one. However, overall call numbers have fallen. In quarter one the employment helpline received 1,665 calls, in quarter two there were 1,221 calls and in quarter three 817.

This suggests, says the FPB,that, as the economy continues to stabilise, fewer business owners are having to deal with the legal implications of staff performance and making redundancies.

The Forum’s Research Manager, Tom Parry, said:
“When the economy was in turmoil and businesses were forced to cut costs severely and work more efficiently, the legal implications of redundancy and performance management issues were more of a concern for small business owners – clearly they are less so at present.”