Government pledges to cut red tape for business
Plans to slash £10 billion of red tape for small businesses, due to be outlined today by Business Secretary Sajid Javid as part of the Government’s Enterprise Bill, have been welcomed by the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo).
A central measure in the Enterprise Bill will be the creation of a Small Business Conciliation Service to help settle disputes between small and large businesses, especially over late payment practices. Small firms are currently owed over £32 billion in late payments, but many of them are not aware of their rights or are reluctant to launch legal challenges.
Commenting on the announcement, Samantha Hurley, Head of External Affairs & Compliance at APSCo, said:
“We at APSCo welcome the removal of burdensome red tape. The professional recruitment sector has, for far too long, laboured under the restrictions of inappropriate, contradictory one size fits all legislation written to protect the potentially vulnerable workers in the blue collar staffing sector. We are still awaiting the changes to the Conduct Regulations following the red tape challenge of the last Government. We are really encouraged by the Government’s statement that they will now deal with this.
“We particularly welcome the proposed offering of a conciliation service as we believe that any measure which helps to engender a responsible payment culture can only be a good thing. However, the proposed conciliation support does not address the ‘pay when paid’ issue, which is a problem specific to the recruitment sector, and it remains to be seen whether small businesses will be in the commercial position to use the conciliation service.
“Currently, many SMEs are unwilling to sue their clients because of the potential commercial fall out, so it will depend upon the detail of the service as to whether it will be used in situations outside of those where the relationship has completely broken down. However, if it saves SMEs legal fees in fighting claims, it’s a positive step in the right direction. APSCo will continue to engage with the Government to identify the needless legislative burdens for the professional recruitment sector, both in the UK and Europe.”