More employment contracts would be available to new staff if the government lowered the amount of National Insurance paid by small firms, research has revealed.

Findings from the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) show that this is one of many factors stifling the recruitment of staff to the country’s companies.

Of the 1,700 respondents, 37 per cent said that an insufficient amount of work and uncertainty over employment contracts prevented them from hiring, while 33 per cent are deterred by the state of the economy.

National chairman of the FSB John Walker commented: “It is not only imperative that the government creates an environment for job creation, but that the banks lend to small firms and businesses are paid on time.”

He noted that this would give businesses the confidence they need to continue with operations and take on more staff at a time when employment is still low.

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