Queen’s Speech 2013: business brief
Business law Partner Sam Lyon highlights the key points for business in the Queen’s Speech 2013.
National Insurance Contributions Bill
The Bill aims to reduce the cost of employment and to support small businesses aspiring to grow, as well as deterring and tackling abusive tax schemes. The Bill will reduce employer national insurance contributions bills each year by entitling every business and charity to a £2,000 Employment Allowance. This will start in April 2014.
The Bill will:
• remove the power for employment tribunals to make wider recommendations in successful discrimination claims under the Equality Act 2010;
• exempt from health and safety laws those who are self-employed and whose activities pose no potential risk or harm to others; and
• include apprenticeship provisions to enable greater flexibility in delivery and to increase employer involvement in the design and assessment of apprenticeships.
The Bill will enable 'tough action' against businesses that use illegal labour, including larger fines.
Draft Consumer Rights Bill
Although no Draft Bill has been published, the government has published briefing notes to the Queen's Speech outlining the scope of the Draft Consumer Rights Bill. The Draft Bill will be at the centre of the government's plan to reform consumer law in the UK. It will reform and consolidate the rules on:
• Unfair terms.
• Digital content.
• Misleading and aggressive practices.
• The powers of enforcement bodies.
Intellectual Property Bill
The Intellectual Property Bill will aimto help businesses (particularly those that are small or medium-sized) to protect their intellectual property.All Factsheets