More needs to be done to remove red tape from business despite new legislation laid out the Queen's speech.
In it, the Government said its enterprise and regulatory reform bill will make the UK "one of the most business-friendly countries in the world" by encouraging the settlement of workplace disputes through conciliation rather than costly legal tribunals.
But lobby groups said the bill does not go far enough in removing the burden of red tape on firms and said the impact of the bill would be undermined by other new regulations being introduced.
"For retail to contribute effectively to economic growth we need the Government to show considerably more restraint when it comes to red tape. Sadly the Queen's Speech suggests there's little sign of the leopard changing its spots," said Stephen Robertson of the British Retail Consortium.
The message was echoed by Simon Walker of the Institute of Directors. "To restore business confidence, which is the real key to growth, there must be drastic measures to cut costly regulation. Tweaking the edges of the system will not be enough," he said.
John Cridland of the CBI said the Government still needed to do more to make it easier for firms to fire and hire workers.
The TUC general secretary, Brendan Barber, said the economy would remain weak unless the Chancellor reverses his deficit cuts policy. "The main obstacle remains the government's mistaken policies of austerity that have sent the economy into reverse," he said.