Measures to support small businesses contained in the Enterprise Act 2016

Implementation date: To be confirmed

The Enterprise Act 2016 (which received Royal Assent on 4 May 2016) introduces legislation to further reduce regulation on small businesses.

The main elements of the Act are:

  • establishing a small business commissioner to help resolve disputes between businesses, such as late payments;
  • improving the business rates appeals system;
  • preventing misuse of the term "apprenticeship" and setting an apprenticeship target for the public sector;
  • enhancing shop workers' rights to opt out of Sunday working;
  • introducing a requirement on statutory regulators to measure the economic impact of new legislation on businesses; and
  • introducing a legal obligation on insurers to pay insurance claims within a reasonable period of time.

The Act also introduces a cap on redundancy payments to public sector workers. This is in addition to the new requirement for workers in the public sector to repay exit payments where they return to work in the public sector within one year, contained in the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015.