By Claire West

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has raised concerns about the amount of employment red tape due to be implemented between 2010 and 2014, arguing that UK businesses need the freedom and flexibility to create as many jobs as possible during the economic recovery.

The warning comes as a raft of new legislation becomes law today (Friday), including two changes which will have a particular impact on business.

The Equality Act 2010 has a one off net cost to business of £189.2 million, and the adult national minimum wage (NMW) will rise by 13p, to £5.93 per hour — with both the development rate and the youth rate also increasing. From today, apprentices will also be entitled to a NMW of £2.50 per hour.

With legislation still in the pipeline between now and 2014 expected to cost firms a staggering £11.3 billion, the BCC has said that there should be a moratorium on any new legislation during the life of this Parliament.

Commenting, David Frost, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce said:

“If private sector businesses are to offset job losses in the public sector, the significant costs of employing people must be reduced. As austerity measures start to bite, companies need the flexibility and freedom to boost employment and drive our economic recovery.

“While we have heard some good announcements from the Coalition about reviewing and scrutinising upcoming red tape, businesses are yet to see the benefits.

“The Government now has the chance to prove its commitment to reducing the substantial burden of regulation, by putting the brakes on any costly new employment law coming into force during the life of this Parliament.”