SMALL firms in the Chester area are needlessly forking out up to £3,000 a year struggling to keep up with complex employment and HR law, a business organisation based in the city has warned.
West Cheshire & North Wales Chamber of Commerce says fledgling companies in the region are effectively burning money by going to specialist providers for their employment law services.
Colin Brew, general manager at West Cheshire & North Wales Chamber of Commerce, said: “Often when entrepreneurs start up their own business they can feel overwhelmed by all the red tape involved, and one area especially that causes confusion is employment law and HR (human resources).
“Whether it’s drawing up contracts for staff or making sure you have a proper grievance procedure in place, it can be a minefield and it’s very difficult to know about all the different hoops to jump through.
“Employment law is a very fast-moving area and new legislation is coming in all the time, so it’s important to keep up to date. Often you can find the goalposts have moved overnight without you even realising.
“Many small business owners feel they have no option but to shell out £2,000-£3,000 a year with an employment law specialist, which is an awful lot of money – especially if you’re just starting out and trying to get your business off the ground.”
Headquartered in Chester, West Cheshire & North Wales Chamber of Commerce represents 90,000 employees across the region, stretching from Vale Royal in Cheshire to Gwynedd and Anglesey in north west Wales.
One benefit of Chamber membership, which costs as little as £150 a year, is a HR package very similar to that which can cost small firms up to £3,000 if they go direct to a specialist provider.
The Chamber package includes unlimited access to 24/7 advice line, a compliant contract of employment, an employee handbook including a grievance and disciplinary procedure, and a health and safety policy offering access to more than 150 downloadable policies, forms, documents, letters, templates and fact sheets.
Mr Brew added: “All companies are looking to make savings where they can at the moment and very few of us can afford to spend thousands of pounds without good reason.
“Employment law and HR really is one of those areas that can eat up your profits while your back is turned, especially if you use one of the big specialist firms and go in for the full package.
“Our members get the same benefits at a massively discounted rate, and this is just one of the ways in which we are helping local businesses thrive at what is still a very challenging time.”
For more information on how West Cheshire & North Wales Chamber of Commerce can help with your firm’s employment law or HR needs, go to www.wcnwchamber.org.uk <http://www.wcnwchamber.org.uk> or call 01244 669988.
Member since: 10th July 2012
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