The Coalition Government outlined a series of “unashamedly pro-work and pro-business” measures as part of the Queen’s Speech last week.
Included within a raft of bills announced were proposals to make it easier for small businesses to gain access to finance and remove unnecessary red tape.
Additionally there will also be measures to tackle zero-hours contracts and the abuse of the national minimum wage.
Arguably the most interesting development was the long-awaited Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill, the first ever bill to make reference to small firms.
The new ruling, which is expected to be officially ratified in March 2015, is designed to give small business owners fairer access to compete for £230bn worth of annual public procurement contracts.
It will also include measures to enforce larger companies to pay small business owners promptly for the work they carry out.
Terry Scuoler, chief executive of EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation, said: “The Government must now keep momentum going for the next 11 months and not stall just as the economy is beginning to motor.
“It is also essential that the legislation proposed does not load any extra burdens on to employers, or remove their ability to recruit and employ in a flexible way to suit their business.”
Meanwhile, Katja Hall, deputy director-general of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), said the organisation backed measures to put pressure on companies who fail to pay suppliers within a reasonable timeframe.
“Growing businesses rely on cash flow and are too often hampered by late payers, so we back a ‘comply or explain’ system for payment terms of more than 60 days.”
Ms Hall added that many businesses would support a ban on exclusivity clauses in zero-hours contracts, which stop employees working for more than one company despite offering no guaranteed hours of work.
A ban on exclusivity clauses would “be a proportionate response to some of the issues that have been highlighted, as it focused on poor practice rather than demonising flexible work in general,” added Hall.
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