It is not easy running a business in this country. You might think I'm making reference to the recession, and, indeed, that is certainly something that has served to heap misery on this nation's many managers and business-owners in recent times.
But what I am talking about is the labyrinthine network of rules and regulations that successive governments have imposed in order to try and protect this nation's employees.
Imagine it. You are running a small business. You are thinking of possibly hiring a new staff member, but haven't yet made up your mind. You think it through...
Firstly, you'll have to pay them the national minimum wage. That'll be the best part of £50 for a regular eight-hour working day – more than you can afford, perhaps, and possibly more than you think the job is worth. And what if, once you've hired them, you realise you've made a mistake?
Well you better do it quickly, as they'll be legally protected within a year and you might find yourself on the receiving end of an unfair dismissal claim. There were 57,000 such claims made last year – almost 220 per standard working day. All involve enormous costs to employ