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A brief note on the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act

04 August 2015


On 26 March 2015, the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill received Royal Assent and is now the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 (the Act).

The Act covers a number of areas of legislative reform, the stated aim of which was to reduce the barriers that can hamper the ability of small businesses to innovate, grow and compete. It is intended to open up new opportunities for small firms to innovate, compete and get finance to create jobs, grow and export.

The main measures that affect companies aim to:

  • reduce red tape whilst increasing the quality of information on the public register, and
  • enhance transparency and ensure the UK is seen as a trusted and fair place to do business.

All companies are or will be affected by at least some of the changes, as the measures will change legal requirements on companies, including what they file with Companies House – which will impact companies’ systems and processes.

The changes are implemented in stages and I shall briefly mention some of the implementations carried out in May 2015.

  • Share warrants to bearer were abolished and any existing share warrants will need to be surrendered. 
  • General duties of directors apply to shadow directors where they can apply and the definition of shadow director is amended. 
  • Any provision of a zero-hours contract which prohibits the worker from doing work under another contract without the employer’s consent is unenforceable against the worker. 
  • The maximum financial penalty for underpayment of the national minimum wage has been increased to £20,000 per worker.

Astrid Trolle Adams
Solicitor, Advokat (Sweden)

T +44 (0)20 7553 6008
M +44 (0)77 7188 0371


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