Cutting Red Tape Could Increase Productivity

If governments across Canada want to help increase productivity – and the possibility of a four-day work week – they should eliminate excessive regulation on businesses and entrepreneurs, says the Fraser Institute. “Businesspeople and entrepreneurs in Canada should be focused on innovation, improving products, serving customers, and growing their businesses, not filling out forms and reports to various levels of governments, which takes time and imposes real financial costs,” says Steven Globerman, editor of the essay series on ways to improve productivity, necessary to achieve a four-day work week. For example, the essay ‘The Drag on Productivity from Excessive Regulation’ says Canadian businesses spend $36 billion per year on regulation. Yet, government could reduce roughly 30 per cent of these regulations without harming the environment or the health and safety of Canadians. In other words, businesses could save nearly $11 billion (that could be put to productive use) annually if governments across Canada cut unnecessary red tape. Moreover, Canada’s smallest businesses and start-ups bear significantly higher costs than larger, more established businesses. Specifically, small businesses (with fewer than five employees) pay five times the per-employee cost of regulation compared to large businesses (with more than 100 employees).