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Employment Law

The Issue

Employment laws regulate the relationship between an employer and a worker. Employment laws are enforced by Employment Tribunals (ET) in England, Wales and Scotland. The Working Time Directive (WTD) is a European Union (EU) law that gives workers in EU countries, rights to a minimum number of rest breaks, rest hours and holidays.

We want equality in the workplace and a fair system for employers and workers alike. We lobby policy makers and politicians here and in Brussels to understand the impact of employment laws on small firms and reduce unnecessary regulations.

Action FSB has taken

  • Lobbying Government to recognise the challenges employment regulation can cause small firms, design new laws with small firms in mind and reduce burdens wherever possible.
  • Calling on Government to reform ETs to make them more efficient and a last resort in employment disputes.
  • Lobbying Government to improve awareness of rights and responsibilities and prevent abuses. e.g. the introduction of a Code of Conduct for Zero Hours Contracts.

Our Ask

Since the recession the UK workforce has performed exceptionally well. Any future reforms of employment laws need to reduce red tape, while maintaining a fair balance of employment rights. Further reforms of Employment Tribunals will help regain confidence in the system for both small businesses and claimants alike.

Achievements in...



  • Reforming Employment Tribunals to improve dispute resolution and discourage ill-founded claims.
  • Simplifying the rules for Shared Parental Leave and the Right To Request Flexible Working to make them more small business friendly.
  • We’ve taken part in the Government’s Task Force looking at EU rulings on holiday pay, as part of the WTD.
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  • In 2015 the Scottish Government announced that they would abolish fees for employment tribunals using new powers in the Scotland Bill.

  • We called on the government to rethink their decision, stressing that it could expose small businesses to unnecessary and time-consuming claims.

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