From 3rd October the Government has removed red tape for many more growing businesses, freeing them from future regulations and saving them thousands of pounds.
In what’s considered the start of a sweeping package of reforms, over 40,000 UK businesses will be released from reporting requirements and other regulations, as part of plans aimed at boosting productivity and supercharging growth.
Under previous legislation, only businesses with 50 or less employees were excluded from certain reporting and regulation requirements, such as executive pay ratio reporting. Under the new reforms, exemptions will be widened to businesses with fewer than 500 employees for future and reviewed regulations. According to the Government Equalities Office though: “The threshold for employers reporting gender pay gap data remains at 250 or more employees.”
What instigated this change?
It’s reported that many businesses with between 50 to 249 employees spend more than 22 staff days a month caught up in the red tape of regulation. The report also showed over half of all businesses consider such regulation a burden to their operation.
Reaction to the planned reforms
The previous PM, Liz Truss’ proposed reforms have sparked anger among unions despite the government’s assurances that any exemptions will be “applied in a proportionate way to ensure workers’ rights and other standards will be protected.”
The Trades Union Congress (TUC) expressed its concerns, saying: “no longer requiring businesses with fewer than 500 employees to report their gender pay gap would turn the clock back for women at work”.
General Secretary, Frances O’Grady, said the changes represented “real threats to workers”.
“Obligations on businesses which were put in place to help improve the lives of working people, such as reporting on gender pay gaps and executive pay ratios, are set to disappear overnight for employers with less than 500 workers,” she added.
Others have expressed concern over whether businesses would look to cut staff or divide up their company in other ways in order to come under the 500-employee threshold. Meanwhile, the government may also consider raising the threshold in the future to include businesses with less than 1,000 employees depending on the impact of the changes.
However, with Liz Truss having now resigned as Prime Minister, it will remain to be seen if such plans stay in place under Rishi Sunak’s government.
Be sure to keep an eye on the current and changing laws and regulations to ensure your business’ policies are up to date. For further advice and support on the current and changing regulations do get in touch with hr inspire’s expert HR team – Hertfordshire’s leading HR consultancy.