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25 October 2019

Weekly Brief 43 – Friday 25 October 2019

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.


Brexit Hub

As the Brexit process continues, check out our FSB information hub for practical information about how to plan and prepare for the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. All of the information on the hub is based on information provided by the UK Government and the European Union. You can find out more here.

Review of maternity and parents’ legislation

FSB is responding to a consultation on parental leave and pay. Please contact Emelia Quist if you wish to share your views on how parental leave and pay arrangements can better meet the needs of employers, parents and the self-employed.


Recently a nursery and its main director are to be prosecuted by The Pensions Regulator for allegedly trying to avoid providing their staff with a workplace pension. Make sure you understand what you need to do to comply with auto-enrolment, and by when. Visit The Pensions Regulator’s website for more information and guidance.

Less than 100 days to complete your self-assessment return

If you still have a self-assessment return to submit, HMRC is reminding customers to complete them early to avoid a last minute rush before the 31 January 2020 deadline. Read HMRC’s guidance for more information.

HMRC reform of off-payroll working rules

Information and advice from HMRC for employers on changes, coming in from April 2020, if you have an employee who provides their services through an intermediary.

FSB Reception with the Mayor of London

Ahead of the 2020 London Mayoral Election, FSB Greater London is hosting a reception with Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London on Thursday 14 November. You can register for free here, to hear from Sadiq Khan on his priorities for small businesses in London with opportunity for Q&A.



FSB teamed up with Facebook to present key findings and recommendations from ‘A Force for Business’ at Boost with Facebook London. FSB’s Head of Policy Sonali Parekh, CEO X-Forces Enterprise and FSB’s Armed Forces Champion Ren Kapur and FSB member, veteran and business owner Lee Harris-Hamer discussed the unique insight and experience service leavers bring to the small business community. They also talked about what more can be done to support service leavers into self-employment or to set up their own business. You can read the full report here.


Responding to the Government’s announcement on a Shared Rural Network, FSB Chairman Mike Cherry said: “Small firms are still being blighted on a daily basis with poor mobile phone signal, which can be hugely problematic - particularly in rural areas. His comments were covered in the Times.

Responding to the launch of the Businesses, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee’s ‘Future of the Post Office Network’ report, Mike Cherry, said: “At a time when high streets are struggling, and banks are shutting branches, the role of the Post Office in local communities has never been more crucial.” His comments featured in the Daily Mail as Barclays reversed its decision and said their customers will still be able to withdraw cash at Post Office branches.


Huddersfield MP Barry Sheerman (Labour) tabled a series of questions to the Treasury on whether small businesses were "adequately prepared" for IR35 and asked what steps the Government was taking to evaluate the potential effect of IR35 on the economic viability of businesses that rely on (a) seasonal and (b) demand-driven workforces.

Nic Dakin MP (Labour) quizzed the Treasury on the effect and cost effectiveness of the Entrepreneur Relief scheme on incentivising investment in business.

The House of Commons and House of Lords debated the Freedom of Establishment and Free Movement of Services (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 - as part of the Government's "no-deal" statutory instrument legislative programme. 

Conservative MPs Mark Pawsey, James Cartlidge and Independent MP Stephen Hammond, asked the Government about what recent steps it was taking to ensure that businesses and the public were prepared for the UK leaving the EU. 


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