MICHAEL Mealing, a leading member of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) in Huntingdonshire, has been appointed chairman of the FSB’s employment law policy unit. The federation has 200,000 member businesses nationally, 3,000 of which trade in Cambridgeshire.

“The unfairness of one-size-fits-all employment legislation is one of the reasons why i got involved with representing small businesses in the first place,” he said.

“Clearly, legislation has a role to play in protecting workers' rights, but the working environment in a small, perhaps family-owned, business is very different from that of a large national or multinational concern. The regulatory framework should reflect this, added the Hunts Post Business Awards judge.

“I am very excited about the opportunity to lead a nationally recognised policy unit and to have the chance to put the case for change to senior politicians and civil servants face to face.”

Mr Mealing sees the difficulties that current legislation presents to small businesses first hand as a member of employment tribunals.

“The problem is not so much that tribunals reach perverse judgements, although this can happen, but that the cost of proving that an employee has not been unfairly treated is so high,” he said.

Mr Mealing is also a trustee and director of Huntingdonshire Citizens Advice Bureau.