Elections can spark either fear or hope in the hearts of business owners!
The prospect of change can either be a really good thing, or a really bad thing!
With the UK general election fast approaching, Brexit has been the main talking point.
However, we thought we’d write a blog outlining the other policies that the Conservatives and Labour have put forward that would probably impact businesses like yours.
What Have The Conservatives & Labour Promised This General Election That Will Impact Business Owners?
Late payments can often break a business, and research suggests that it is far too common an occurrence when large businesses deal with smaller ones.
The Conservatives have explained that they will massively clamp down on late payments, ensuring that those who are abusing the system are caught out.
Labour have gone a step further and claimed that they will instead place a ban on late payments from public procurement.
However, many are unsure about what this would look like in the case of a genuine error on behalf of a larger company.
Another pressing problem for business owners is the cost of business rates.
With less customers shopping on the streets, and business rates climbing higher, many owners say that this is one of the key problems that close businesses in these situations.
Labour have put forward that they will review the land tax option on commercial landlords, as an alternative to the business rates system.
They believe that this will benefit business owners facing these problems.
The Conservatives don’t want to change the system, rather, they want to thoroughly review it.
They have pledged to undertake a fundamental review of the system, in order to reduce business rates.
With many young people opting in favour of apprenticeships in recent years, there has been a public call to invest more into this area of training.
The Conservatives want to put £3 billion towards a fund to help offer offer high quality training towards apprentices that are training to directly benefit SME’s and individuals.
They also want to improve the working of the Apprenticeship Levy and invest a further £2 billion to upgrade entire further education colleges across the nation.
Labour have a large focus on climate apprenticeships, and want to launch an apprenticeship programme in their policy.
They also want to offer bursaries to women, people with disabilities and many more for those who enter into this apprenticeship.
They also want to improve the way that employers use the apprenticeship levy, to offer a wider range of accredited training.
Support For The Self Employed
Despite the many challenges that those who are self employed face, the two parties have taken one approach each to try and offer support for these people.
Labour have focused on the challenge of getting money in if you cannot work.
They have expressed a desire to introduce collective income protection insurance schemes for the self-employed, which would ensure that if anything happened – payments could still come in through the insurance scheme.
The Conservatives have focused on the challenges of securing finance services and mortgages.
They want to offer better systems for the self employed to access finance and credit services including mortgages, tax and broadband.
This is an area that will affect the majority of the population directly, but for business owners who have their own employees, there will also be knock on effects due to these policies.
The Conservatives want to crack down on employers who are abusing the employment law, and give workers the right to request a more reasonable contract if they believe their contract is unreasonable.
Labour have a huge focus on employees, and want to make lots of changes that might impact business owners.
First, they would ban zero hour contracts, ban unpaid internships, and give all employees full rights from when they start work.
They also want to increase certain benefits to employees, such as compulsory paid breaks and cancellation shifts, bringing in statutory bereavement leave, introducing 4 new bank holidays and shortening the working week to 32 hours.
They also want to increase paid maternity leave from 9 months to 12 months, and double paternity leave from 2 weeks to 4 weeks.
Workers will also be given the right for flexible working patterns, and they have pledged to eradicate the gender pay gap, and any business caught not honouring the gender pay gap will face fines.
The Conservatives want to incentivise investments in cloud computing and data, seeing it as the future for business owners and the growth of their businesses.
Labour desire to create a local banking section with the goal of specifically meeting the needs of small and medium sized businesses.
They also want to provide £20million of lending power to deliver funds to Scotland’s small businesses, and increase corporation tax to 26%, or 21% for businesses with an annual turnover of less than £300,000.
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