Becoming law on the 26th March 2015, the Small Business, Employment & Enterprise Act (SBEE) has been designed to pave the way for the UK to become the “best place in the world to start and grow a business”.
Addressing 11 major business areas, this detailed legislation is having a significant impact on the UK’s SMEs and, within this blog, we focus on three areas we feel are contributing most heavily to such impact.
With a deluge of historical measures to reduce the barriers to successful SME set-up and management, there has been a particular impetus to remove excessive bureaucracy. Specific examples include the simplification of registration processes such as incorporation and tax registration, as well as changes to accounts filing procedures in order to remove duplications.
There are, however, some measures that call for SMEs to adopt changes on their own behalf and embrace new responsibilities, these include the removal of zero-hour exclusivity clauses and enforced contribution to a publicly available register of people who possess significant control over a company or organisation.
It is also worth noting that SMEs with over 250 employees are required to publish information pertaining to the difference in salary between male and female employees.
Given on-going concerns regarding SMEs’ collective reliance on debt and equity finance, the SBEE’s financial measures are a welcome introduction to legislation. One such beneficial measure is centred on a commitment to helping SMEs that have been refused a loan by one of the ten dominant UK banks.
After refusal, banks will be legally required to assist the business in finding a suitable alternative lender through a dedicated online database.
New initiatives will also contribute to helping SMEs understand the differences between the different credit options available so that they can make more informed decisions. These initiatives also see the advent of new “challenger banks”, intended to drive competition with the large established banks.
The introduction of a Small Business Appeals Champion, tasked with improving the engagement between regulators and the regulated, is yet another example of a legislative measure the SBEE has introduced to benefit SMEs. This is designed to make it less time consuming, less difficult and less costly for small businesses to challenge and appeal decisions.
Whilst this blog outlines the impact of three particular areas of the SBEE act, there are a myriad of potential impacts the law can have on your business, to access our infographic and find out exactly how the SBEE could impact you, click the button below.