Get involved with the New Enterprise Bill

Posted: 22nd September 2015

BiSThe Enterprise Bill had its First Reading in the House of Lords on 16 September 2015.

 The Enterprise Bill will cement the UK’s position as the best place in Europe to start and grow a business, by cutting red tape and making it easier for small businesses to resolve disputes quickly and easily.

It will encourage investment in skills, boosting productivity.  It will help to ensure that people who work hard have the opportunity to succeed and that every part of the country benefits from our growing economy. For further details, please go to

See the press release here

How to get involved?

  •  Follow @bisgovuk  for mentions/retweets/discussion on Twitter
  • Remember to use the hashtag in your tweets – #EnterpriseBill
  • Share information on how the Bill will open opportunities for business and encourage growth and innovation, through your social media channels; tweet using #EnterpriseBill
  • Do you have a newsletter, online group or forum?  Share stories about what the Enterprise Bill means for you and your stakeholders
  • You can also get involved in posting messages of support and starting conversations on LinkedIn.  Log in and search ‘Department for Business, Innovation and Skills’

Within this document we have included some tweets for you to use along with a blog and factsheet.  On the Enterprise Bill website – – you can access a copy of the Bill; Explanatory Notes; the Press Notice; and a short video from the Small Business Minister, Anna Soubry.


Introduction has been programmed to start on 16 September in the House of Lords, with earliest second reading in w/c 12 October and earliest Committee stage in w/c 26 October.

Further information

Visit the Bill webpage via this link:

Generic tweet and Graphic


EnterpriseBill making sure the UK continues to be the best place to do business @bisgovuk

Suggested Tweets  (listed by measure)

 Small Business Commissioner

The Bill will contain measures to establish a Small Business Commissioner with conciliation and related functions that will handle business-to-business disputes without the need for court action tackling, in particular, late payment issues.

  • Late payment affecting your bsns? Small Business Commissioner  will help resolve payment disputes  #EnterpriseBill
  • #EnterpriseBill will help settle business to business disputes with the help of the new Small Business Commissioner
  • The new Small Business Commissioner will offer advice/support on how to avoid/resolve disputes #EnterpriseBill

 Late Payment of Insurance Claims

The Bill will introduce a legal obligation on insurers to pay insurance claims within a reasonable time.  This would give policyholders the right to claim compensation if they suffered additional loss as a result of the insurer’s failure to pay.  The measures would assist businesses who, after an event such as fire or flood, are heavily dependent on their insurers making prompt payment of claims.

  • #EnterpriseBill will help to ensure your business can get insurance claims paid out within a reasonable time
  • #EnterpriseBill will help insurers to meet obligations to bsns & pay insurance claims within a reasonable time

Better Regulation

  • #EnterpriseBill will enable govt. to meet their deregulation target, ensuring regulators are able to contribute
  • #EnterpriseBill – helping regulators to be more transparent
  • Cutting red tape for all businesses through better regulation #EnterpriseBill

Primary Authority

The Bill contains measures to extend and simplify the Primary Authority scheme.  The scheme provides businesses with consistent, tailored, assured advice they can rely on and provides regulators with flexible ways of working.

  • Find out how the #EnterpriseBill will make it easier for businesses to work with a primary authority
  • #EnterpriseBill – extending the primary authority scheme and making business simpler

Business rates

The measures in the Bill relating to business rates appeals will only apply to England.  The Bill proposes to introduce enabling powers for a reformed ‘check, challenge, appeal’ business rates appeals system.  And to allow for the Valuation Office agency to share business rates appeals information with local Government (applies to England and Wales).

  • #EnterpriseBill will enable Valuation Office to share business rates information with local government @LGANews
  • #EnterpriseBill introduces enabling powers for a reformed ‘check, challenge, appeal’ business rates system

 Amending the Industrial Development Act 1982

The Industrial Development Act (IDA) 1982 enables financial support to be provided by the government to industry in the United Kingdom.  The Bill will amend section 8 to: increase the amount that can be paid in respect of any one project before requiring a resolution of the House of Commons, from £10 million to £30 million; and amend section 13, to expand the list of basic services to include ‘electronic communications networks and services’ and enable grants or loans to be made towards the cost of improving such networks and services in any area of the UK.

  • #EnterpriseBill – amends the Industrial Development Act 1982 to help government support industry


The Bill contains measures to support the ambition to create 3 million new apprenticeships during this Parliament.

  • #EnterpriseBill – supporting business by giving apprentices the skills they need to succeed in the workplace
  • Protecting the term ‘apprentice’ and ‘apprenticeship’ through the #EnterpriseBill
  • #EnterpriseBill will help open up apprenticeship opportunities by setting targets on the number of apprentices


Enterprise Bill

When you work for a small business, being paid late can make the difference between survival or going bust.  The Enterprise Bill will tackle some of the most pressing issues for business today.

Late payment hurts small firms who don’t have the time, money or expertise to chase down larger companies who owe them money.  Nor should they have to. The Enterprise Bill, introduced into the House of Lords on Wednesday 16 September, will make it easier for these businesses to settle payment issues by setting up a Small Business Commissioner, offering advice and information about dispute resolution. Staying with late payment, the Bill will also introduce a requirement for insurers to pay insurance claims within a reasonable timeframe, helping businesses get back on their feet quickly.

We know that SMEs hate red tape as it distracts them from running their business.  Over the next five years, Government has committed to cutting a further £10 billion of red tape that stops businesses from growing and creating jobs, so the Enterprise Bill will extend its deregulation target to include independent regulators to help contribute to this ambitious target.  This will encourage them to think carefully about the impact they have on business before bringing in new rules.  And the Bill will streamline interaction with authorities – by extending and simplifying the Primary Authority scheme – to improve the way businesses deal with local authorities, saving business time and money.

Encouraging businesses to invest in the skills of their staff is a vital part of the Government’s plan to boost productivity in the UK.  The Enterprise Bill will protect and strengthen the apprenticeship brand, in the same way that the law protects the term “degree”, with the public sector leading the way in taking on more apprentices. The Bill will make sure that hardworking apprentices have access to high-quality training while getting paid – helping businesses get the skills they need to be successful.

These are just some of the areas that the Enterprise Bill will cement the UK’s position as the best place in Europe to start and grow a business, making sure hardworking people have the opportunity to succeed.  For more information, visit the website by following this link


Enterprise Bill: summary factsheet

 The Enterprise Bill will cement the UK’s position as the best place in Europe to start and grow a business, and will make sure everyone who works hard has the opportunities to succeed.

The Enterprise Bill contains measures to

  •  set-up a Small Business Commissioner;
  • extend the Business Impact Target to include regulators;
  • support a positive shift in the way regulation is delivered by regulators through the Growth Duty and Regulators’ Code (“the Duties”);
  • simplify the Primary Authority scheme;
  • introduce of a target for the total number of apprentices working in public sector bodies;
  • prevent misuse of the ‘Apprenticeship’ term;
  • introduce a legal obligation for insurance claims to be paid within a reasonable timeframe;
  • allow the Valuation Office Agency to share business rates information about properties and ratepayers with local government;
  • reform the Business Rates Appeals system;
  • update the Industrial Development Act 1982; and
  • cap exit payments for public sector workers.


Small Business Commissioner


The Bill contains measures to:

  • establish a statutory Small Business Commissioner to empower small businesses to resolve disputes and avoid future issues through general advice and information;
  • enable the Small Business Commissioner to handle complaints by small business suppliers about payment matters arising with larger businesses which they supply;
  • support the Government’s ambition to make the UK the best place to grow a business;
  • contribute to ensuring the business environment in the UK helps small businesses to thrive and grow, to help support the UK economy;
  • facilitate better understanding among small businesses of where to seek support when they have issues or disputes with other businesses;
  • help small businesses to take action to deal with disputes more quickly and cheaply than going to court; and
  • promote culture change on late payments.


Business Impact Target


The Bill contains measures to:

  • extend the Business Impact Target to include the actions of national regulators;
  • provide a wider focus for the Government to reduce regulatory burdens on businesses, enabling them to free up resources and boost productivity;
  • ensure that there is even greater transparency around the impact of regulation on business;
  • enable regulators to contribute to the Government’s deregulation target of £10bn of regulatory savings during the current Parliament; and
  • provide greater incentives for regulators to design and deliver policies that better meet the needs of business.

Growth Duty and Regulators’ Code (“the Duties”)

The Bill contains measures to:

  • require regulators to produce an annual performance report setting out the effect that the Duties have had on the way they have exercised their functions;
  • require regulators to obtain the views of business on the effect that the Duties have had, and to include them in the annual performance report; and
  • require a regulator to provide information that a Minister may request from time to time relating to the effect that the Duties have had on the way they exercised their functions and the views of affected businesses.

Primary Authority

The Bill contains measures to:

  • widen access to more small businesses and simplify access to advice for trade association members;
  • enable national regulators to support Primary Authority partnerships alongside local authorities and to issue advice and guidance to businesses;
  • reduce the uncertainty faced by businesses working across the four UK nations as a result of increasing devolution through introducing mechanisms to help regulators recognise advice issued in other nations;
  • extend the scheme to other regulatory areas which stakeholders have asked to be brought into scope;
  • help businesses by removing regulatory burdens, reducing compliance costs through improved regulatory advice and reducing time and costs caused by inconsistent enforcement; and
  • provide small businesses with easier access to tailored advice with reduced administration.

A target for the number of apprentices in public sector bodies

The Bill contains measures to:

  • increase the number of apprenticeships in the public sector;
  • provide a power for the Secretary of State to set targets for public sector bodies in relation to the number of apprentices they employ in England;
  • require the public bodies to have due regard to any targets set on them and to report annually on progress against meeting those targets;
  • increase the number of apprenticeships in the public sector; and
  • help meet the Government’s commitment to deliver 3 million apprenticeships within this Parliament.

Preventing misuse of the ‘Apprenticeship’ term

The Bill contains measures to:

  • create an offence for a person, in the course of business, to provide or offer a course or training as an apprenticeship if it is not a statutory apprenticeship;
  • strengthen and protect the reputation of the apprenticeship brand for training providers, employers and apprentices;
  • protect the reputation of training providers, employers who offer statutory apprenticeships and apprentices who join those apprenticeships, by maintaining their standards and ensuring that statutory apprenticeships are not confused with lower quality training;
  • ensure a “level playing field” and fairness in the market to the benefit of training providers, employers and individuals; and
  • give employers more confidence that they are investing in high quality apprenticeships.

Introduction of a legal obligation for insurance claims to be paid within a reasonable timeframe

The Bill contains measures to:

  • introduce into every contract of insurance a requirement on the insurer to pay sums due within a reasonable time;
  • ensure that the law incentivises insurers to pay within a reasonable time, and to promote payments within a reasonable time;
  • give policyholders a legal right to enforce prompt payment of insurance claims; and
  • provide for limited compensation to be payable by an insurer where a policyholder suffers additional loss because of the insurer’s unreasonable delay in payment.

Valuation Office Agency to share business rates information about properties and ratepayers with local government

The Bill contains measures to:

  • reduce the administrative burden in the business rates system by creating an information gateway between the Valuation Office Agency, local government and the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, which will allow for the legal and safe transfer of business rates information; and
  • make sure ratepayers no longer have to give largely the same information to local government as they do to the Valuation Office Agency.

Reform of the Business Rates Appeals system

The Bill contains measures to:

  • benefit businesses by making the system more transparent and easier to navigate;
  • ensure that businesses can be confident that their valuations are correct and that they are paying the right amount of business rates; and
  • introduce a reformed appeals system built around three stages – ‘check, challenge, appeal’.

Updating the Industrial Development Act (IDA) 1982

The Bill contains measures to:

  • introduce a new section enabling the Secretary of State to make grants or loans towards the cost of improving electronic communications facilities in any area of the UK; increase the project threshold for providing financial assistance to businesses under section 8(8) of the IDA from £10 million to £30 million, before a resolution of the House of Commons is required;
  • enable the Government to support the roll-out of communications networks and services across Great Britain, including remote areas, for commercial purposes; and
  • enable the Government to provide more timely business support and reduce uncertainty in providing valuable investment to UK businesses.

Public Sector Employment: Restrictions on Exit Payments

The Bill contains measures to:

  • stop six-figure pay outs to the best paid public sector workers by placing a limit on the value of exit payments individuals can receive (for example a cash lump sum or employer-funded contribution to early access to pension);
  • cap all types of payments related to exits, including voluntary and compulsory redundancy and severance payments.  This will apply broadly across the public sector as defined by the list of public sector bodies set down by the Office of National Statistics (although some bodies may be exempted); and
  • enable a waiver to be made in exceptional circumstances subject to approval by the relevant Minister.