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30 August 2019

Weekly Brief 35- Friday 30 August 2019

LATEST ADVICE & OPPORTUNITIES

Settled Status Guidelines 

Only around one in three EU citizens currently resident in the UK have applied for the "settled status" needed to remain in the UK after Brexit. If you employ EU citizens, they can apply for settled status if they have been in the UK for more than five years, or pre-settled status if they have been resident for fewer than five. Full guidelines can be found here.  

Re-enrolment reminder

Every three years, employers must re-enrol employees into pension schemes (as part of the wider auto-enrolment initiative) to ensure that all eligible staff who are not currently members of a workplace pension become part of one. They must then complete a re-declaration of compliance. This process must be completed for all employees that meet the necessary age and earning criteria. Find out more information about how FSB can help with the process here.

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU

Cyber focus groups

FSB is holding two focus groups to discuss cyber security: one in Manchester on 17 September and one in London on 25 September. The purpose of the sessions is to sense-check ideas for products and services with members. To sign-up for one of the discussions, email your member details to Tanya Edgar.

Statutory Sick Pay

The Government is proposing a series of changes to Statutory Sick Pay, including a potential widening of eligibility to the lowest paid for the first time. Other potential moves include providing small businesses with a sick pay rebate. Further information is available here. If you have views on the proposed changes, we want to hear from you - please contact Emelia Quist.

THE SMALL BIZ WEEK IN REVIEW

Tuesday

Following the bank holiday heatwave, FSB National Chairman Mike Cherry raised concerns about the costs of keeping businesses cool - including the hike in business rates which often accompanies installation of air-conditioning units. Dubbing the charge the -air-con tax', he stressed to the Telegraph that, "with the economy contracting last month, the Government should be devising new incentives to invest and rethinking elements of the tax system - like business rates - that encourage the opposite."

Wednesday

The Chancellor Sajid Javid announced that a one-year Spending Review will take place on Wednesday 4 September. The review will outline how the new administration plans to dedicate spending to different departments over the next 12 months.

Thursday

With Britain's exit from the European Union just nine weeks away - and the UK and EU authorities continuing to issue conflicting advice regarding the role of Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) numbers post-Brexit - FSB's Director of External Affairs and Advocacy Craig Beaumont told the Times that clarity was urgently needed around customs guidance for small businesses.

Friday

The Government has announced that £10 million is being made available to groups such as FSB to help tackle lack of industry readiness for Brexit. In today's Times, Craig Beaumont stressed that it was "mission critical to the economy that small firms have the information they need to prepare for Brexit."

FROM THE CORRIDORS OF POWER

The current parliamentary recess ends on this coming Tuesday 3 September. 

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