Small Business Minister to Regulators: Don’t Hinder Growth

Regulators need to be more transparent in their enforcement of business regulations or they risk restricting growth, UK small business minister Mark Prisk has said.

In a recent speech to regulators, Prisk said that regulation needed to be more accountable locally, with clearer guidance for small firms so it was easier for them to comply with requirements.

The minister also called for more use of co-regulation ― which would see industry, rather than regulatory organisations, setting professional and working standards for businesses.

“The challenge is to transform the regulatory landscape so that the system delivers essential protection whilst avoiding unnecessary interference in the day-to-day work of hard-working business people seeking to innovate and grow,” said Prisk.

He added that businesses which demonstrate compliance should receive recognition and not be under such close scrutiny from regulators.

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) said it welcomed the call for a better working relationship between businesses and regulators.

“We’d like to see inspections becoming a more positive experience so in this sense, Mark Prisk has highlighted some useful issues,”

said FSB spokeswoman Sara Lee.

“Good inspections are useful for businesses.”

However, the FSB wanted to see inspections booked in advance, Lee said, so that business owners could “prepare and get more out of the process.”

“We’d also like to see businesses be able to give feedback on inspections to an independent body. At the moment, if there’s a problem or they want to make a complaint, they can only go back to the regulator itself. A more accountable, two-way system is needed.”

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