IBEC has warned the Government that any hike in costs to employers in Budget 2013 will force more companies out of business.
The warning comes as a survey carried out by the group found that businesses are still in fear of the introduction of a statutory sick pay scheme, which would see the cost of sick leave passed from the Government to employers.
Brendan McGinty of IBEC said such a move would hinder growth.
"(The changes to sick pay) would simply be an extra tax on employment, at a time when jobs should be the priority," he said. "We really are urging government not to go there...and do everything in its power to reduce costs."