Mark Prisk to slash red tape for micro businesses

There will be a consultation period while the details are worked out, but during those three years micro-companies can expect the following:

  • Scrapping rights that give parents of children up to 17 the right to flexible working hours.
  • Relaxation on submitting full account audits to Companies House.
  • Companies of less than 250 employees will continue to avoid the Right to Request Time to Train scheme. The Labour plan was brought in last year to allow employees to request time away from work to develop their skills.

Prisk made his position clear with a speech at the Federation of Small Businesses conference in Liverpool: "I know that we need to make things easier for business. We stand 17th in the world for ease of starting a business. The country that comes first is New Zealand. Whereas we undergo six procedures and on average take thirteen days, for them it is: one procedure, one day.

"We want smaller enterprises to be thinking about how to grow their business, not how to deal with the latest request from government. Unless it is about public safety or national security, you should be minding your business, not ours."

Vince Cable, the business secretary, has also got firmly behind the new measures: "A moratorium for the smallest start-up companies from regulations alongside the removal of obligations for flexible working and giving time off to train will be a real boost to businesses.

"It's not right that businesses should have to deal with years of Government intervention by abiding by arcane rules. That's why I am asking them to help us take a comprehensive look at the stock of regulation and tell us how rules and regulations affect them."

These proposals offer a glimmer of hope for the 4.6 million firms in the country with 10 or fewer staff. They are a step in the right direction for a government promising an unashamedly pro-growth Budget.

Smarta will be blogging and tweeting all the chancellor's announcements live tomorrow. Check in with us at smartahq for the latest updates on any new proposals affecting entrepreneurs and small businesses.


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