Small businesses are shedding staff in a bid to stay afloat in the UK economy and amid increasing taxes and business rates, according to the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).
The FSB pointed to the findings of the latest Voice of Small Business Index, which showed 6.5% of small firms planned to lay off workers in the first quarter of 2012. This number was at its highest level since the survey began and highlighted the continued difficulties faced by those setting up their own business.
Figures from the index also showed that 4.8% of small businesses also reduced worker numbers during the months from October to December 2011.
These job losses are also leaving the UK employment market in further turmoil, with figures released today (18 January) showing the rise in jobless numbers.
With inflation high and bills rising also, the FSB has said the Government must act on policies and initiatives like those previously outlined in the Autumn Statement. "If the Government makes the right choices and puts action into words we can turn this around," FSB national chairman John Walker claimed. "The Government has a good chance to make a real difference to the livelihoods of small firms when it reports on the Modern Workplaces consultation."