Government declares 'freedom day' for SMEs as it cuts red tape

As part of the government's Red Tape Challenge, a number of regulations are set to be changed or scrapped.

Millions in SME savings are expected to be made following the government’s decision to act on recommendations made by companies through the Red Tape Challenge.

The coalition, which announced a second phase of the Red Tape Challenge in March’s Budget speech, will now implement changes simplifying the way businesses can use assets to raise finance as well as moving registration and payment online.

Other reforms also coming in immediately include reducing administration on low-risk electrical works as well as ‘clearer, more consistent’ guidance on requirements for access to buildings, glazing and protection from falling.

Business minister Michael Fallon comments, ‘Setting business free from the restrictions that hold back enterprise is a compulsory step on the road to growth.

‘We’ve listened to firms and taken prompt action where regulation presents barriers – but there is a huge amount still to do.’

Fallon says that the government will now ‘quicken the pace’ by launching a new phase of the Red Tape Challenge this summer and has reaffirmed his commitment to pressuring Whitehall into putting business before bureaucracy. Some 1,500 reported regulations have been identified for reform through the Red Tape Challenge. A full list can be found here.

More on business regulations in the UK:

This second phase will look at the whole regulatory system – including laws, guidance, compliance, and enforcement, through short, targeted reviews. The reviews will look at areas such as infrastructure, key stages in the growth of companies, and business activities where negotiating the system is overly complex.

Also part of the initiative is the decision to alter the minimum consultation required for large-scale redundancies from 90 to 45 days giving, the government says, greater flexibility to restructure.

Fallon adds, ‘As well as cutting the overall burden of regulation, we are sharpening up how rules are enforced. We’ll make sure regulation works in the public interest without stifling law-abiding firms and hampering growth.’

Do you think that the government is doing enough to reduce unnecessary business regulation? Have your say by tweeting us on @GrowthBusiness.

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter was the Editor for from 2012 to 2014, before moving on to Caspian Media Ltd to be Editor of Real Business.

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