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18 May 2018

Weekly Brief 20 - Friday 18 May 2018

A wrap of the week’s small business news from FSB’s Westminster Press, Policy and Public Affairs Office. To sign-up for Weekly Brief emails, please use this link.

Proportion of small firms increasing pay largest since 2014
New FSB research finds that the share of small businesses that are increasing wages for employees is at a three-and-a-half year high. ONS statistics revealed during the week show that average weekly earnings increased by 2.9% compared to last year. The official unemployment rate fell to 4.2% in the first quarter of 2018.

Carillion treated small firms with contempt, say cross-party MPs
A joint Select Committee report on the collapse of Carillion published this week argues that the firm treated small businesses with contempt prior to its collapse in January. The findings come amid mounting pressure to end a late payment crisis that destroys 50,000 firms a year. 

Innovation injection needed to narrow UK's productivity gap
FSB has found that only 30 per cent of small businesses are given the support they need to make positive changes within their firms by bigger businesses in their supply chains. It is thought that the number of owners growing their firms could increase significantly if more support were to be fed down from clients further up the supply chain. 

Parliamentary Mentions
This week, the FSB Trade Chair Chris Walker and FSB Brexit Chair Neil Warwick gave evidence to the House of Lords EU External Affairs Sub-Committee.

Deadline approaching for National Apprenticeship Awards
Entries for the National Apprenticeship Awards 2018 close on Friday 25 May 2018. New categories include the Recruitment Excellence Award, Rising Star Award and Recognition Award. Find out more about how to apply at appawards.co.uk. 

Last call for views on Employment Status 
If you haven't yet provided feedback for FSB's response to the latest consultation on Employment Status, this your last chance. If you have thoughts on legislation surrounding the self-employed or the status of employees and workers, please contact Emelia Quist. 

Join FSB's Transport Committee
If you have expertise in transport policy issues affecting small businesses, and would like to help shape FSB's work in this area, please get in touch with Will Black. Our work on transport policy covers a range of important topics, including road, rail and aviation.  

Share your views on our future relationship with the EU 
Our survey on the UK's future relationship with the EU has now launched.  FSB members who are part of the Big Voice community should check their inbox to complete this important survey. In doing so, you'll ensure that the needs of small businesses are heard in the ongoing negotiations.

New guidance issued on tackling workplace inequality
Acas have released new guidance on how employers should accommodate people from different faiths and backgrounds. The guide also provides advice around assisting individuals who believe they have been discriminated against.

Enter the Open to Export International Business Awards
Are you an active exporter? Or are you considering starting the export journey? The WTO and the International Chambers of Commerce (ICC) have together launched the Open to Export Initiative, a new competition giving small businesses the chance to win $5000 cash towards their export plans for international growth. As a partner the initiative, FSB encourages any interested members to apply by the 10 August deadline. More information can be found on the Open to Export website.

Have a view on e-commerce packaging? 
FSB's European trade association EMOTA is looking to interview members active in e-commerce regarding packaging. The ten minute interviews will focus on business needs as they relate to the packaging of shipments. The results will contribute to a study aiming to influence international standards in this area. For more information, or to take part, please contact James Sibley.

Join Big Voice and make your business heard
Big Voice is FSB's unique online research community and it's free for members to join. By responding to one of our surveys, members give us the evidence we need to engage with politicians around the world on the subjects that matter to small firms. Join for free to make sure your voice is heard.