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Small business support is coming next year, says Chamber head

Small business support is coming next year, says Chamber head

Tuesday 09 December 2014

Small business support is coming next year, says Chamber head

Tuesday 09 December 2014

Small businesses will be exempted from parts of the Employment Law under proposals due to be announced next month.

The Chamber of Commerce has been pushing for the move for some time, after they said that developments in legislation to protect workers was threatening the existence of some small firms.

No details have been given about what form the exemptions will take or how they will define a “small business” but the move, which had been part of Chief Minister Ian Gorst’s poll-topping re-election campaign, now looks likely to become a reality after Chamber president James Filleul said that it would be a major part of next year’s agenda.

In his speech at last week’s Chamber of Commerce lunch, he said: “Now, given it’s the end of 2014, give or take a few days, lets briefly recap on what’s been achieved this year, and what we have on the agenda for the next.

“In terms of policy, the highlight for me has been the major progress on small business exemptions from certain aspects of the employment law. We met the Chief Minister recently, and I understand we will see movement on this very soon. We will continue to monitor that very closely.

“With both the Family Friendly legislation coming forward in 2015, and the next characteristic of gender being added to the discrimination law, we must make sure that the impact on small businesses is proportionate, not punishing.”

And Mr Filleul added that he hoped politicians would not try to hit businesses as a convenient source of cash over the next three years – but warned that some wanted to simply pass on the cost of the States paying rates to employers.

He said: “Some of you might remember that at this forum last month, I urged the Council of Ministers to change their minds about increasing business rates to get the States off the hook from paying parish rates. The reaction from senior politicians was immediate; no sooner had I sat down than they told me that rates here were far lower than those in the UK, so there was plenty of scope to pay more.

"Effectively, despite everything that has happened in the last few years, they still believe the Bank of Business is open.” 

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