Employment law ‘is confusing some SME owners’

  • Posted

Posted 23/02/2010

The owners of small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have been advised to seek help if they are unsure about employment law following the results of a new survey.

Research carried out by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills found that 28 per cent of SME owners are only “vaguely aware” of their legal duties in the workplace, while 34 per cent reported believing that employment law obligations are not relevant to them.

A quarter said they do not always keep up with changes to legal requirements, potentially putting them at risk of prosecution or more workplace accidents.

Petra Wilton, a spokesperson for the Chartered Management Institute, said it is essential that business owners realise that implementing employment law is a key responsibility.

“No one is asking them to be an expert, but it is essential that they seek out and use appropriate information so that informed decisions can be reached,” she added.

SME owners may wish to make sure they are up to date with the requirements under the 2007 Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act, as it was announced earlier this month that firms can be prosecuted to the tune of more than £500,000 if they commit management failures which result in a death.


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