The Institute of Directors (IoD), a leading UK employer association, has urged the Government to reduce the burden of employment law on British businesses.

It seems that businesses are now obliged to abide by literally thousands of different rules, making complying with the regulations a complex and often very expensive

Alistair Tebbit, a spokesperson for the IoD highlighted employment law in particular as “the main problem area”, due to its rapid expansion under Labour over the last 15 years.

“The current government, although it has said it is going to stop the increase in red tape, unfortunately appears to be doing the opposite,” said Mr Tebbit. “There is a range of proposals that the government has got on the table at the moment which will add to red tape.”

Virtually all employers are affected by the problem to some extent, he explained, and businesses of all sizes suffer from excessive bureaucracy.

The Federation of Small Businesses reported last month that EU regulations cost companies £107.6 billion overall every year – an amount equal to 3.5 per cent of the EU’s annual GDP. It also noted that 1.7 million businesses in the EU fail every year, with over half of them admitting that the regulatory burden was a significant factor in their failure.

Commenting, Mr Tebbit said: “It’s all very well talking about cutting red tape or stemming it, but actions speak louder than words and we’ve yet to see the government take the whole regulation issue seriously.”