Small Businesses Are Scared Of Employment Legislation

by: Mary-Anne Bowring

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Mary-Anne Bowring, Managing Director of multi-award-winning property company The Ringley Group, believes that employment tribunal cases should be available for free. Currently they are only available for free on a 30-day trial on, after which commercial organisations have to subscribe to access them. She has written a letter to the Prime Minister, The Rt Hon David Cameron MP and Mayor of London, Mr Boris Johnson, outlining her thoughts. She has also written to Conservative Councillors Mr Cameron Thomson and Mr Andrew Mennear. This is detailed below. Mary-Anne says, Small businesses are scared of employment legislation, the American no win no fee culture and I applaud the government for realising that employment burden needs to be addressed. We are proud to be a recognised Investor in People and have just won a National Training Award so I don't say this in malice.

The paradox is that small businesses can't afford an HR department and employment tribunals focus solely on pieces of paper and procedures that nobody tells you to put in place. Possibly the only chance of winning is expecting most of your existing staff to attend Tribunal as witnesses. But to expect them to do so is bound to adversely affect morale. To stand a chance you need about 10 policies, at least 2 appraisals a year and enough statistical performance data to show or benchmark one employee against another. None of which fits with the entrepreneurial culture of instincts, rewards and opportunities. The days of a job for a wage are long gone.

Today a small employers challenge is to provide a creative culture, social life, work/life balance and constant recognition and value, most of which in years gone by the family would have often provided. So keep working on those family values. Here at Ringley we do believe in best practice, we are even up for an employer of the year award. The message is that the 10 years it has taken to achieve the Ringley Group family values and award winning business excellence has been costly and emotionally draining. It's time the government started to help.