Business Law & Compliance

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Small business bill: Key measures

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It will introduce tougher rules to make sure public sector workers do not get high pay outs if they get re-employed in the public sector; tackle misconduct by directors and unfair employment practices; provide reforms to increase the efficiency of the Employment Tribunals system; and ensure a strong regulatory regime for those that administer insolvencies.

Matthew Hancock, the enterprise minister, said: “Every village, town and city throughout the country is host to a range of small businesses from shops, garages and cafés, to manufacturing firms and tech start-ups. We are backing business every step of the way with the first small business bill, to help create the prosperity and secure the jobs we need.”

The bill also introduces measures to:

  • Stop abuse of individuals on zero hour contracts by making sure they are not tied exclusively to one employer;
  • Deter employers from breaking national minimum wage legislation;
  • Strengthen the rules on director disqualifications to widen the matters of misconduct courts must take into account;
  • Assist small business expansion overseas by increasing the support available from UK Export Finance and widening its powers, making it easier for all businesses, regardless of size, to expand in the international marketplace;
  • Streamline insolvency law to remove unnecessary costs and ensure effective oversight of insolvency practitioners;
  • Improve companies’ payment practices so that small businesses can negotiate fair terms and ensure more of their invoices are paid on time; and 
  • Provide new and improved information on learning outcomes by tracking students through education into the labour market.

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