Saving business time and money
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Released 30 Sep 2008
A number of important business laws come into force tomorrow.
To save business time and money Government departments now issue all their
changes to business regulations on only two dates per year - 6 April and 1
This is part of the Government's overall approach to promote better
regulation, regulating only where necessary, doing so in a proportionate and
targeted way, and reducing bureaucracy wherever possible.
Small businesses have estimated that up to 10% of time - or £628 million per
year - can be saved through changes to the law being announced on two 'common
Business and Competitiveness Minister Shriti Vadera said:
"Business asked the Government for Common Commencement dates. They help
companies to plan ahead and save money.
"Many of the important changes coming into effect this October bring
significant benefits for businesses. For example, abolishing the need to display
insurance certificates and simplifying information requirements for firms will
save them about £80million."
"Certain regulation is necessary to protect people and businesses across the
UK. It ensures a level playing field, promotes competition and allows markets to
"However, we do understand that regulation is a concern for business. This is
why we are driving forward an ambitious programme to save business and the third
sector £3.5 billion in administrative costs by 2010."
In order to help companies adapt quickly and easily to the new rules,
simplified guidance for implementing the new regulations has been designed with
the help of business. This has been distributed through trade and professional
organisations to over a million businesses of all sizes.
The most significant changes coming into force are:
* The minimum wage for workers aged 22 and over will increase from £5.52 to
£5.73. The rate for 18-21 year olds will rise from £4.60 to £4.77, while 16 and
17 year olds will see an increase from £3.40 to £3.53 per hour.
* A requirement for all tobacco products to carry graphic picture warnings to
illustrate the devastating effects that tobacco can have on health.
* Further provisions of the Companies Act 2006 which improve company law and
reduce burdens on companies. For example: changes will crackdown on company name
"squatters" - businesses that find their trading names have been registered at
Companies House as company names by so-called squatters can now challenge for
ownership of the name.
* The final parts of the Consumer Credit Act 2006 which protects consumers
and puts in place a more level playing field for businesses in the credit
market. For example: lenders will have to provide consumers with better
information about their debts (such as loans, credit cards or store cards).
* Removing rules that require physical copies of Employers' Liability
Compulsory Insurance certificates to be displayed and retained for 40 years.
Businesses will now be able to do this electronically.
* All estate agents will be required to join a redress scheme. The scheme
will be transparent, independent and fair. It will speedily resolve complaints
and will have the power to award compensation to consumers.
* "Doorstep selling" regulations will protect people when they buy products
and services from traders at home. The new rules give people a legal right of
seven days in which they can change their mind. Previously, people only had
these cancellation rights if a trader's visit was not pre-arranged.
* Measures to further tighten UK strategic export controls - including
stricter controls for trading in cluster munitions, and extending controls for
small arms and Man Portable Air Defence Systems (MANPADS) so that they apply to
UK citizens anywhere in the world.
The key government Departments which introduce business regulations on the 6
April and 1 October are BERR, DEFRA, Communities and Local Government, Home
Office, HSE and Food Standards Agency. The new regulations can be found at
Approximately 50 changes will come into force, but the vast majority of these
are small technical amendments needed to update existing rules and will have no
impact on most businesses.
1. The Better Regulation Executive is taking forward the Government's better
regulation agenda. http://bre.berr.gov.uk/regulation/
2. Examples of how individuals and businesses are benefiting from changes to
regulation can be found on
http://www.betterregulation.gov.uk . The site also invites suggestions for
what else can be done to reduce red tape.
3. The Department for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform helps UK
business succeed in an increasingly competitive world. It promotes business
growth and a strong enterprise economy, leads the better regulation agenda and
champions free and fair markets. It is the shareholder in a number of
Government-owned assets and it works to secure, clean and competitively priced
About the Author
© Crown Copyright. Material taken from the BERR- Department
for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform replacing DTI - Department for
Trade and Industry. Reproduced under the terms and conditions of the Click-Use
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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2008-10-01 10:01:05 in Business Articles