Employment law may be causing problemsToo much employment regulation and legislation may be having a negative impact on the UK’s competitiveness, it has been claimed.

The British Chamber of Commerce (BCC) has suggested many businesses are having to cope with a “relentless flow” of complex employment law, which is also putting the creation of jobs in the future at threat.

As a result, it has now published its report Employment regulation: up to the job? prior to the release of the official labour market figures and claims workplaces have been burdened with employees’ rights to request, “unreasonable” health and safety restrictions and extended time off provisions.

In addition, the BCC suggests it is “extremely difficult” for employers to prove gross misconduct, they have the same responsibilities to ensure the health and safety of home workers as in-office staff and the average waiting time for a first heating at an employment tribunal is 20 weeks, which is “unacceptable”.

The group is now calling for this waiting period to be reduced to 16 weeks, while dismissal should be allowed if a manager “reasonably believes” gross misconduct has taken place and health and safety – but not work-provided equipment – should be the responsibility of people working at home.

David Frost, director general of the BCC, said: “There is an emerging consensus that employment law is now weighted too far in favour of the employee.”

Elsewhere, the Department of Health recently announced action is to be taken to raise employee awareness on their right to request flexible working if they are a carer.