Small Businesses May Fall Foul of Cookie Laws

Small firms may fall foul of new EU rules governing the use of cookies on their websites, the Forum of Private Business (FPB) has warned. The majority of businesses in the UK use cookies to analyse online consumer behaviour, according to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), the body responsible for enforcing the law. Under the new law, which was introduced on 26th May 2011, it is now illegal for businesses to use cookies without seeking user consent first. Cookies allow websites to remember visitors and store their preferences such as log-in details, browsing history and ordering information, by installing a small piece of code on a user’s computer. The FPB urged businesses to make any necessary changes to their website as soon as possible, or risk facing a fine of up t... »

Consumer Rights Directive Threatens Growth for SMEs

EU Legislation shocks SME community Thousands of small businesses across Britain and Europe are at huge risk of being forced out of business if proposed amendments to the Consumer Rights Directive are pushed through by the European Union, warns Quentin Pain, chairman and founder of accounting software specialist Accountz. Recently, the European Parliament introduced a series of amendments to Commission’s proposal for a Directive protecting online consumers rights. MEPs backed a series of new rules to protect online shoppers and boost consumer confidence to buying in other Member States. The amendments, which if passed will apply whether a transaction is made in a shop, on the phone, online or by mail order, include: A 14-day window in which consumers across the EU can change their mi... »

Foreign Workers Reforms may Restrict Recruitment

Foreign Workers Reforms may Restrict Recruitment

Government plans to limit the number of skilled British jobs going to non-EU workers may make it harder for employers to find the recruits they need, the Forum of Private Business (FPB) has warned. From next year, businesses will be required to advertise jobs in the UK for one month (up from the current two weeks) before they can go ahead and recruit skilled non-EU workers. According to the Home Office, the move will ensure that British workers are not only first in line for jobs, but also have more time in which to apply. But the FPB has warned that the measures may make it harder for employers to find recruits with the right skills, unless education and the current JobCentre system were improved.  “It is certainly important that the domestic jobs market is made more accessible... »

EU Opens to Small Business

The European Union opens up a one-stop-shop for Small Firms. The European Commission has launched a free business advice website for SMEs to use hoping that small business will adopt it as their central point for contacting business support organisations throughout the EU. Containg links to almost 600 resources the Enterprise Europe Network includes all the major SME support organisations, research institutes and innovation centres in the European Union. The aim of the European Enterprise Network is to help small firms find access to funding, launch products and expand into other EU countries. The EEN also includes links to upcoming business events and workshops throughout the European Union. “The new Enterprise Europe Network is a milestone in the Commission’s integrated polic... »