The government has announced that it is taking steps to reduce the amount of red tape involved in setting up and administering a business.
It’s intended to cut costs for businesses and make it easier for them to compete both nationally and internationally.
The government says that businesses have faced hundreds of new rules, costing them time and money to understand and comply with. Additionally, they say that it makes it more expensive and harder for startups to enter the market and grow.
This package is intended to be the first in a series of deregulation announcements this year. With reduced reporting requirements, it’s believed that savings to business could be as much as £1 billion per year.
What does the package include?
- Time-consuming and disproportionate reporting requirements for specific elements of the Working Time Regulations will be abolished, while retaining the 48-hour week requirement and upholding employment standards. This could save employers around £1bn a year. Regulations which apply when a business transfers to a new owner will be simplified.
- Ensuring regulation is, by default, the last rather than first response of Government by reforming the Better Regulation Framework. The new, smarter framework will ensure future regulation is streamlined and minimises business burdens.
- Improving regulators’ focus on economic growth by ensuring regulatory action is taken only when it is needed, and any action take is proportionate. The government will also consider the merits of commencing statutory reporting and how best to promote growth with utilities regulators, who are currently not in scope of the Growth Duty.
- Promoting competition and productivity in the workplace by limiting the length of non-compete clauses to three months, providing more flexibility for workers to join a competitor or start up a rival business after they have left a position. The change will also support employers to grow their businesses and increase productivity by widening the talent pool and improving the quality of candidates they can hire.
- Stimulating innovation, investment and growth by announcing two strategic policy statements to steer our regulators, the first of which – on energy policy – has just been published, and will soon be followed by the Government’s strategic steer to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).
The government also touched on other regulatory reforms that it intends to introduce. The Edinburgh Reforms of UK financial services include over 30 regulatory reforms that are intended to increase investment and growth in towns and cities across the UK. The Retained EU Law Bill, currently being considered by parliament will remove the special status of retained EU law by the end of 2023. The Bill will be amended to clarify which laws will be revoked by that time.
This announcement reinforces the importance of keeping up to date with the regulation and laws applying to your business and sector. Crucial to this is access to expert legal guidance from experienced specialists who are already familiar with what the law requires and how it affects businesses.