The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) has extended the deadline to a call for evidence around potential new legislation protecting small businesses when purchasing goods and services.
Small business leaders will now have until 30 June to reply to the call for evidence; first issued in March 2015. BIS is looking to hear from any owners with their views around a potential change in legislation that would bring protection for small businesses in line with consumers when making purchases.
The consultation is open to any small business owners who employ up to 49 people. It was opened following concerns being raised that small businesses – especially micro-businesses (employing up to nine people) – are legally vulnerable when making purchases for commercial reasons.
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Members of the public who make purchases are set to enjoy greater protection when large aspects of the Consumer Rights Bill come into effect in October 2015. The legislation also covers consumer rights around digital content they have paid for.
In the ministerial foreword of the original document, parliamentary under-secretary of state for employment and consumer affairs Jo Swinson said the government value small business and wanted to create conditions for “these businesses to prosper”.
“With this in mind, the measures we are introducing in the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill – including new reporting requirements obliging all large companies to report on their payment performance – are designed to support small and micro businesses,” she continued.
“There have been calls for the government to go further in this Bill and give micro and small businesses protections similar to those which consumers will soon have when the Consumer Rights Bill is enacted and comes into force.
“The protections would apply when these businesses make purchases of goods and services for use in their commercial activities.”