Perceptions and experience of employment regulation in UK small firms

Carter, S. , Mason, C. and Tagg, S. (2009) Perceptions and experience of employment regulation in UK small firms. Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, 27(2), pp. 263-278. (doi: 10.1068/c07106b)

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Abstract

The view that excessive regulation constrains small business growth has been a persistent theme within business and policy communities, although recent studies have demonstrated the actual effects of regulation to be relatively modest. A prior small-scale study proposed four reasons why employment legislation does “not damage” small firms. We attempt to assess the robustness of these propositions in a large-scale survey of 16 779 small firms. Results provide empirical support for three propositions. Firstly, perceived dissatisfaction masks actual effects. Secondly, competitive conditions mediate regulatory effects; however, even resource-constrained firms reported few negative effects. Thirdly, informality eases regulatory impact. Results failed to confirm that older laws are ‘routinised’. Length of time as a business owner was found to be more influential than age of regulation, with owners who have been in business for many years having a longer ‘window of exposure’ increasing their likelihood of experiencing negative and positive effects.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Carter, Professor Sara and Mason, Professor Colin
Authors: Carter, S., Mason, C., and Tagg, S.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > Adam Smith Business School > Management
College of Social Sciences
Journal Name:Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy
Publisher:SAGE Publications
ISSN:0263-774X
ISSN (Online):1472-3425

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