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More small businesses to benefit from rule exemptions

Since 2011, microbusinesses have been enjoying a three-year moratorium that exempts them from 'burdensome' new regulations. The moratorium is to be extended and increased in scope, according to a recent Government announcement.

From April 2014, the moratorium will be extended to firms employing up to 50 staff in what will be called the Small and Micro Business Assessment (SMBA).

It is part of a drive to minimise the burden that new regulations can impose on small businesses, which have fewer resources to give over to compliance matters than larger companies.

New regulations will face scrutiny by two committees, and if any 'unnecessary burdens on small businesses' are identified, the proposals will only be cleared if an exemption is granted to small businesses, or if disproportionate burdens on small businesses are 'fully mitigated'. Mitigation could be giving small businesses extra time to comply with rules, as has been the case with the implementation of Real Time Information for PAYE.

Commentators have pointed out that the moratorium has so far had limited impact, because 'no employment regulations have yet been subject to an exemption' - though the Government has signalled its intention to provide an exemption period to see how compulsory equal pay audits work before applying them to small businesses.

Acas provides Help for small firms and wants to lend a hand in Growing your business and keeping it simple. Acas training can also help nurture growth in small businesses through successful Performance management and by improving Skills for supervisors in building effective and productive working environments.

Visit the Acas Training and Business Solutions page for more information.

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