Government plans for greater liability of company directors

Company directors should be personally liable for misconduct or company failure, business secretary Vince Cable has said as part of an overhaul of company rules.

The Underwater Marketing Company  PR Even Management Social Media Company Directors Government SME tips Rosemary E Lunn Roz LunnLaunching the 'Transparency and Trust' paper at the Responsible Capitalism conference, Cable outlined measures to improve corporate transparency and strengthen director accountability and disqualification laws.

The proposed reforms seek to promote growth by improving confidence in the UK as an open and trusted place to invest and do business, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) said.

The paper highlights two key points:

Corporate transparency

- how the UK will implement its G8 commitment to a central register of company owners
- the abolition of bearer shares and their misuse
- steps to tackle tax evasion, money laundering, and to boost the UK's investment environment.

Director accountability

- giving regulators more power to disqualify directors in specific sectors
- questions on whether disqualified directors should compensate creditors.

"Greater transparency and improved trust will mean honest entrepreneurs and investors can do business more securely in the UK and not be disadvantaged by those who don't play by the rules," said a Government press release.

Business Secretary Vince Cable said: "A stronger economy depends on investors, employees and the wider public having trust and confidence in companies and those that are running them."

Article Source: TheSME

UK Government makes changes to employment tribunals legislation

Employment tribunals are often associated with controversy and cost. However, the Government has made a number of important changes to the legislation, to weed out false claims and fast-track legitimate ones. This came into effect on Monday 29th July 2013.

Currently ex-employees can drag-up any false claim in the hope of securing a settlement. Employment tribunals currently have to pursue such claims, even when they are suspect, while preparing the defence of such claims can be expensive, time-consuming and distracting for businesses. This is particularly troublesome for smaller businesses who don’t have the resources or the cash.

UK Government employment tribunals legislation appeal The Underwater Marketing CompanyOne of most the controversial new changes will be the introduction of tribunal fees. The Tribunal system has become inundated and employers have reportedly felt more and more vulnerable to spurious claims. There is no doubting the introduction of Fees is as a result of a well-intentioned desire to remove such claims so that the for the first time a Claimant must 'put their money where their mouth is'.

One of the most important changes is the implementation of a Sift by an employment judge. After a Claim has been presented and the Response has been accepted by the Tribunal, an Employment Judge will consider all of the documents it has and decide, based on that information, whether the Claim or Response, or any part of it, should be dismissed, either because there are no arguable complaints/defences or for lack of jurisdiction. This is a common sense approach and one which employers will welcome, unless their Response gets sifted out!

These changes as well as others aim to weed-out the false claims (perhaps up to 40%) and fast-track the legitimate ones, with the intention of creating a framework for managing cases more flexibly and efficiently.

Here is a link to 'Discipline and grievances at work: The Acas guide'

Article Source: SMEWeb

Simplifying NICs for the self-employed

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is considering plans to simplify the way self-employed people pay National Insurance Contributions (NICs).

HMRC National Insurance Contributions Rosemary Lunn Roz Lunn The Underwater Marketing Company Self EmployedHMRC is exploring whether it would be simpler to collect these contributions alongside Class 4 NICs and Income Tax through the Self Assessment process. The aim is to reduce the administrative burden on self-employed people. The proposals have been published for consultation, and the self-employed and those who represent them are encouraged to respond to the consultation by 9 October 2013.

Useful Human Resource Statements

Can you write a Human Resources Policy using fewer than 140 characters? Personnel Today posed that question, and it has spawned some interesting and quite useful results. You can search this on Twitter using hash tag #shorterHR.

Personnel_Today_Human_Resource_policy_Roz_Lunn_Rosemary_E_Lunn_The_Underwater_Marketing_CompanyHighlights include;

We hired you because you are an intelligent adult - please act accordingly

E-mail policy: Engage Brain Before Clicking on "Send"

Mobile Phone Policy: Switch it off.

If you're not doing things properly and you don't improve, we may dismiss you.

Dress code: You are not clubbing, gardening or at the beach. [NB: for lawyers replace with "You are going to a funeral."]

Restrictive covenants: Don't nick our clients, staff or suppliers. Or our price list.

Email and Internet Usage Policy: Don't look at porn or waste too much time.