According to a survey of 1,300 small businesses conducted by the British Chamber of Commerce (BCC), over half (52%) felt the changes to paternity laws will be detrimental to their business. A fifth (21%) said Wednesday's abolition of 65 as the DRA will give them less control of their workplace and harm their business.
David Frost, director general of the BCC commented on the figures: "In the face of promises by the Government to listen to the needs of business and cut red tape, these two new pieces of employment regulation will hit businesses hard.
"The Budget revealed a policy to exempt start-ups and existing firms with fewer than ten employees from new domestic regulation. But this week's changes show there is an urgent need to review and scale back policies already on the statute books."
Other members of the business community, however, have different ideas. Dragons' Den's Theo Paphitis told The Sun: "I don't think the fact girls get pregnant is new to anyone. It shouldn't get anyone wound up. I've always had a business where the vast majority of people employed were women.
"We have an above average number that have maternity leave. It does hurt smaller businesses, but having a baby is a great thing. Without it, we wouldn't be here."
Meanwhile, some believe the changes will have a positive effect on workplace diversity. Chris Parke, managing director and co-founder of Talking Talent, commented: "From a corporate point of view, this new legislation will help create a more diverse workforce, and it will support organisations in maintaining career momentum for women. And, for those families where the woman is the main bread winner, or whose career takes precedence, the legislation will really provide them with greater choice and flexibility."