Research by the Institute of Directors claims that new regulations will cost UK businesses over £1bn.

The “time off to train” requirement alone would cost a hefty £555 million, while the Business Rates Supplement Bill could cost nearly £320.

The IoD’s Director General does not believe that benefits from those initiatives would offset the costs to employers. Commenting on the research, Miles Templeman said:

“Not long ago, the Government was talking about a temporary freeze on new regulation as a means of helping businesses through these incredibly difficult times. However, despite the business friendly rhetoric, the Government’s own figures indicate that Ministers are in regulatory overdrive. The introduction of £1billion of extra employment entitlements, pay audits and business rate supplements at a time of acute difficulties for business is a massive error.

“The Government has urgently to rethink policies like the Business Rate Supplements Bill and proposals around Time-Off Entitlements, if it is really serious about helping businesses through the recession. The economic impact of these regulations will be felt in lost jobs.”

A spokesman for the Department for Business, Enterprise & Regulatory Reform responded:

“Our ambitious programme to cut the costs of regulation, for example on business, is already achieving positive results,” said a spokesman. “The government has a programme to reduce red tape, with a target to cut administrative burdens by 25 per cent by May 2010. To date, around £1.9 billion of savings have been delivered.”