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)

Full text not currently available from Enlighten.


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
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Mason, Professor Colin and Carter, Professor Sara
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 (Online):1472-3425

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record