Here’s a summary of some changes that may affect you and your business, that are due to come into force in October 2013.
However, at the time of writing, they are still subject to Parliamentary procedure:
Directors’ remuneration reports
Company directors will be required to disclose and communicate key information regarding their pay to shareholders. It will particularly affect company directors whose pay is directly linked to company strategy and performance.
Micro-companies’ financial reporting
Micro-businesses – those with a net turnover below £632,000 and with 10 or fewer employees – will be able to prepare and publish an abridged balance sheet and profit and loss account. Previously, micro-businesses were subject to the same financial reporting rules as other small businesses. They will also continue to be exempt from the requirement to file the profit and loss account with Companies House.
Fast-track planning applications
Planning applications made to local authorities who have been assessed as ‘poor performing’ can instead be made directly to the Secretary of State. This is intended to speed up planning applications, particularly for businesses.
Health and safety
Employers’ strict liability for injuries to employees in the workplace is to be removed, meaning employers will no longer be liable for accidents and events completely beyond their control. Employers will, however, continue to be liable for health and safety in the workplace.
Under a separate Act, a simplification of health and safety reporting requirements means employers will have to report fewer occurrences of injury, disease and dangerous incidence.
Employers’ liability for third party harassment of employees
Amendments to the Equalities Act 2010 means employers will no longer be liable for the harassment of staff by third parties such as customers. However, the employer may still be considered liable if they are found to be negligent in ignoring employees’ complaints.
Pregnant workers’ right to health and safety claims
A change to the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act will ensure that a pregnant worker continues to have the right to bring a claim for breach of statutory health and safety duty in relation to rights under the Pregnant Workers Directive.