A freeze exempting small businesses from some new regulations is to be extended to larger enterprises.
Business Minister Michael Fallon announced on 6 June that the freeze exempting businesses with fewer than ten employees from burdensome new regulations would be extended to firms with up to 50 staff, and will continue from 2014.
Firms will also be exempted from new regulations if there is any evidence that they will result in disproportionate burdens that could impede growth.
Mr Fallon said: “As Britain recovers, small businesses are leading the generation of ideas, the creation of new jobs and the shift towards a balanced economy. We cannot afford to hold them back with more rules and regulations.
“On my watch, new regulations will now only extend to small businesses if they are essential, justified, and where disproportionate burdens are fully mitigated. Where regulation is not fit for purpose, it will be reformed or binned.”
New proposals for regulation will undergo an initial departmental impact assessment and independent review before facing further challenge and scrutiny by a Cabinet sub-committee. If at any stage unnecessary burdens on small businesses are identified, proposals will only be cleared if an exemption is granted to smaller businesses or if disproportionate burdens on small businesses are fully mitigated.
John Allan, national chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, said the burden of regulation often fell most heavily on the smallest firms and the new measures should help to make future regulation “more manageable and proportionate” for these businesses.
He added: “This should mean that business owners will be able to devote time to growing their business and creating jobs rather than form-filling.”
The new Small and Micro Business Assessment process, which will apply to new regulations that come into force after 31 March 2014, builds on the current Micro-Business Moratorium, introduced following the 2011 Budget.