Allianz Cornhill Legal Protection (ACLP) has warned that failure to comply with two new pieces of regulation from tomorrow could cost small businesses millions of pounds.

Businesses that fail to comply with the Disability Discrimination Act, the final phase of which comes into effect tomorrow, could face prosecution.

The Act, which is extended to small businesses, requires service providers to remove physical barriers which make it impossible or unreasonably difficult for disabled people to use a service.

ACLP also warned that failure to comply with new regulation for resolving employee disputes, also to take effect tomorrow, could cost businesses millions in compensation awards and legal costs.

According to research by the insurer, just 30% of SMEs are covered by legal expenses insurance, leaving the vast majority exposed to the full cost of employee disputes.

ACLP divisional manager Phil Ruse said: "With a 17% rise in employment tribunals, businesses are more likely to be involved in a legal dispute than have a fire at their premises.

"Brokers can play a real part in making sure their customers stay on the right side of the law."

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