Digital Economy Bill

Digital Economy Bill Pushed Through Despite Opposition

The Digital Economy Bill must be amended before it becomes law or it will be costly for small firms, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has warned. The controversial Bill was widely expected to be delayed until after the election on May 6, but has been pushed through the House of Commons by the Government and is now due to pass to the House of Lords for final approval. However, it will still face further scrutiny by the next Parliament before it is enacted. There will be also be an extended period of public consultation. Much of the Bill, which aims to protect copyright and tackle illegal file-sharing, will not directly affect small businesses. But relevant new measures include tougher penalties for those that infringe copyright by copying content from another website or downloading ... »

SMEs Lose Out in Queens Speech

SMEs Lose Out in Queen’s Speech

Queen’s speech in brief — Bills affecting business: Equality Bill: businesses with more than 250 employees will have to report on gender differences on pay and publish the results. Agency workers to be given equal treatment with permanent staff after 12 weeks in a job. Digital Economy Bill: universal broadband to be introduced. Bribery Bill: makes it an offence if businesses fail to prevent a bribe being paid by an employee.   Economic recovery and growth were the leading themes in this year’s Queens’ Speech, but the small business sector was largely overlooked in the Government’s legislative programme. Key measures included a curb on City bonuses and plans to tackle inequality of pay between men and women working in large firms. The speech also unveiled ... »