The Chancellor said he would also press ahead with plans to reform planning laws to aid business development.
He also promised to look at ways that employees could be fired without them being able to claim unfair dismissal – a move long desired by small businesses.
The Chancellor said he also wanted to reduce ‘delay and uncertainty’ in the collective redundancy process as well as introducing the idea of ‘compensated no-fault dismissal’ for firms with fewer than 10 employees.
‘We will cut the burden of health and safety rules on small firms because we have a regard for the health and safety of the British economy too,’ he said.
‘This Government has introduced flexible working practices and we are committed to fair rights for employees. But what about the right to get a job in the first place?
‘Or the right to work all hours running a small business and not be sued out of existence by the costs of an employment tribunal?’
Mr Osborne said many firms were afraid to hire new staff because of their fear about the costs involved if it did not work out.
George Osborne said he wanted to put the British economy first over workers’ rights, bringing forward ‘no-fault redundancy’
Last week Business Secretary Vince Cable said: ‘We are trying to balance workers’ quite legitimate wish to be secure and not to have hanging over them the fear of dismissal; on other hand we have employers telling us that in order to take people on they need to have a flexible market.’
The Chancellor also suggested regulations covering the pay and conditions of workers when they switch from the public to the private sector.
Osborne also announced he will call for evidence on further measures to make it easier to hire people, including changing TUPE regulations, which unions argue are vital to ensure that workers do not suffer cuts to pay or worse conditions when their jobs move to private firms.
John Longworth, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce, greeted this plans with a cautious optimism saying: “The government has gone some way to reducing the burden businesses face when complying with employment law when it announced a new package of changes last week.
Consultations on deregulation are a positive step, but we now need to see real action on reducing regulation which often distract employers from growth and create uncertainty. Changes to the tribunal system and the unfair dismissal route respond directly to the concerns of employers and will act as a real boost to business confidence.”