Common Commencement Dates – a regulatory big bang

Red tape big bang not helping UK small businesses cope with legislative change.

By News Desk
29th September 2008 at 15:46

Unpredictability in business is the hardest thing to manage.  That’s why the government introduced ‘Common Commencement Dates’  – two days each year when all legislative amendments and new business regulation would come into force.

No more piecemeal introduction of legislation. No more small businesses struggling to keep up with the red tape all through the year. So went the argument at least.

But according to the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) changes introduced on Wednesday 1st October including new legislation on payroll, company law and health and safety are going to add to the difficulties facing Britain’s small businesses.

John Wright, chairman of the FSB, says:

Having a Common Commencement Date goes some way to helping businesses prepare for new regulation but the volume of legislation is just getting too much. In these tough times it is important for small businesses to remain economically active rather than spending their time filling in forms to adapt to new rules.

A spokesman for the Department for Business highlighted that government is making headway to reduce the financial burden of legislation on SMEs:

… the Government understands 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.


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