A series of case studies highlighting excessive regulation on businesses and employers is being submitted to the government for review.
The Institute of Directors (IoD) has gathered together a second volume of anecdotal case studies from their members on everyday problems arising from excessive or badly applied regulation.
In the report: "In Their Own Words: Volume 2" over 30 examples cite problems ranging from the burden of anti-money laundering regulations, to the cost of meeting the Welfare Reform and Pension Act 1999 which requires employers to offer a stakeholder pension scheme if they have more than five employees.
Although the IoD admits the government has made progress on reducing the regulatory burden since it published its first volume of case studies in 2004, it says not enough has been done.
In the foreword to the second report it says while there has been the Hampton Review and the setting up of a Better Regulation Executive to tackle the issue, business is still waiting to see results.
As Miles Templeman, director general of the IoD, points out, the accounts collected in the second report show the same old problems continue to crop up, such as employment law which is too inflexible for small and medium-sized businesses and environmental permitting regimes which generate mountains of paperwork.
And although he admits the government has acted on some of the issues raised in the first report from two years ago, he argues “piecemeal action on a few points is one thing; securing a fundamental change in government's risk-averse, pro-regulation culture is a much bigger challenge.”
As a way of keeping up the pressure, Templeman says most of the case studies will be submitted to the government through the Cabinet Office's ‘simplification portal’.
The Better Regulation Executive, the part of the Cabinet Office in charge of reviewing and reducing the regulatory burden, has issued a promise saying it will assess and respond to all business complaints of over-regulation within 90 days, a promise the IoD plans to test.
Templeman says these first hand accounts show the government has a long way to go on tackling regulatory burdens, and although it supports many of the current ‘Better regulation’ initiatives, too many of them remain exactly that, initiatives.
He adds: “The government needs to deliver quickly. Our members will only believe it when they see a noticeable reduction in the amount of time they have to0 spend on filling in forms, dealing with inspectors and keeping up to date with the latest changes in the law.”
Templeman argues less time spent on these activities will mean more time spent on developing their businesses, which means more jobs and greater prosperity in the economy.
He adds: “Most of these case studies have been submitted to the Cabinet Office’s ‘simplification portal’. The government now has 90 days to respond with an indication of what action it plans to take on each point, or an explanation of why nothing can be done.”
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