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Dublin: 4°C Sunday 11 April 2021

Over 40 per cent of small firms plan to create new jobs

However, there are still barriers to employment opportunities including a lack of business and unrealistic salary expectations.

Image: Rick Bowmer/AP/Press Association Images

ALTHOUGH MORE THAN 40 per cent of Ireland’s small businesses believe they will create new jobs over the next 12 months, they say there are still a number of barriers to extra employment opportunities.

The latest survey from the Small Firms Association (SFA) shows that 46 per cent of companies believe that insufficient business is the biggest barrier to job creation.

Costs, employment law, lack of skills and unrealistic salary expectations were also cited by potential employers.

However, seven per cent of those intending to employ new staff have said they will make significant increases to their employment levels.

Another 43 per cent said they will maintain current staff numbers, while 14 per cent plan to decrease the number of people they employ.

“The live register hides the fact that there is a lot of churn in the labour market, with many new jobs being created by entrepreneurial small businesses; however many more continue to be lost particularly in the traditional sectors,” commented SFA director Patricia Callan.

She called on the government to introduce policies that would go toward a resurgence in consumer confidence and reduce the cost of employment for employers.

“These survey results are very promising; however if the Government increases the cost of employment in the forthcoming budget, then these plans cannot be delivered on.”

Callan also criticised the Department of Social Protection’s proposals to introduce mandatory sick pay or increase employer’s PRSI.

About 10 per cent of firms said their businesses were declining at the moment but there was more positive feedback from 47 per cent of respondents who said they were growing at present.

The survey was carried out at the end of July and 628 business owners responded.

More: Sick pay proposal will affect childcare service provision – survey>

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