The results from 430 companies across the UK show that half of businesses (50.6%) feel payment times are taking longer, emphasising the continued pressure on cash flow. Worryingly for job seekers and new graduates, just 30 per cent of businesses are planning to recruit over the next 3 months.Other key findings in the survey include:
· A month on from the Chancellor’s Budget, respondents were asked to award the measures a mark out of 10. Over one-third of respondents awarded the lowest mark of 1, with the average score only slightly better at 2.6.
· In a sign of increasing business confidence, company turnover expectations for the next 3 months have all improved. 30% of firms now expect turnover to improve by 0-25%, which is up from 22% in January’s monthly survey.
· 30.9 per cent of firms will attempt to recruit in the next 3 months while 69.1 per cent will not.
· One in ten businesses are spending over 20 hours every week complying with employment law.
David Frost, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) said:“These results show just how tough cash flow conditions are, with half of businesses hamstrung by increasingly late payments. The knock-on effect is that under a third of employers are planning to recruit over the next three months.
“More needs to be done to improve company cash flow and prevent the steady rise in unemployment. It is clear from this poll that the help on offer in the Budget fell short of many businesses’ expectations. Announcing a moratorium on new employment law and scrapping the planned rise in national insurance would certainly send a signal that the government is serious about supporting jobs.”