Matthew Hancock, the Minister of State for Skills and Enterprise wrote a rather emotive piece in the Telegraph last week about how his passion for defending and nurturing small businesses was fostered by his own background: "While I was growing up, I watched my parents start and build their business from the ground up. saw first-hand the struggles and strains that come with running a small company."
Anyway, we had a look at exactly what the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill promised for new and growing businesses. Announced in the Queen’s Speech earlier in the month, it was introduced to the House of Commons by the Government on Tuesday.
The Bill pulls together a number of strands of government policy, ranging from SME access to finance, to the regulation of pubs in the UK. It also banned exclusivity clauses for zero-hour contracts and this was dealt with widely in the press.
The access to finance measures are probably of most interest to Workspace customers. Among the measures contained in the Bill are:
- The removal of barriers to invoice financing by nullifying the impact of clauses in business contracts that prohibit a business from selling their invoices to a third party finance provider.
- The introduction of a new reporting requirement on large companies and LLPs to report on their payment practices and policies, to tackle the problem of overdue payments. Further work in this area, and the power to introduce secondary legislation are also proposed as part of the Bill.
- A requirement on banks to share data on their SME customers with Credit Rating Agencies (CRAs), with requirement on CRA to ensure equal access to that data for all lenders.
There are also measures on export guarantees, presentment of cheques – if anyone still uses them! – and payment systems that can be accessed. You can find further information on the government’s website
We'd love to know whether these measures are going to affect how you do business. Tweet to us @WorkspaceGroup.