Small Businesses, Enterprises and Employment Act 2015

One of the more nifty provisions contained in The Small Businesses, Enterprises and Employment Act 2015 (SBEEA 2015) is the introduction of ‘cheque imaging’. This will enable customers to take a photograph of their cheque on their smartphone and pay it in electronically using their banks mobile app.

The electronic payment of cheques through image capturing software will enable the clearing cycle to be reduced from six days to as few as two. All financial institutions that provide cheque services will need to have facilities, or access to facilities, that allow them to accept cheque images. However the financial institutions will have just over a year to get prepared as the provisions will come into force from 31 July 2016.

Pubs will also be affected by SBEEA 2015. A Pubs Code and Adjudicator will be introduced. The Pubs Code will provide the tied tenants of large pub companies with the statutory right to request an open market rent review, if they have not had one within the last five years. This should provide tied tenants with more transparency and fair treatment.

However SBEEA 2015 is not all about smartphones and pubs.

SBEEA 2015 will introduce two new grounds for disqualifying a director in the UK. These new grounds will be where they have been convicted of a company related offence overseas or where they have instructed a disqualified director. The courts will be required to consider the nature and extent of the harm along with the directors track record in running failed companies.  Where misconduct has caused identifiable loss to creditors the Secretary of State will be able to seek compensation.

There will be increased transparency surrounding who owns and controls UK companies. This will be done by the creation of a publicly accessible register of those who hold significant control over a company. Â It aims to deter those who hide their interest in UK companies to facilitate illegal activities.

Regulations that affect businesses will be frequently reviewed, in a new provision found in SBEEA 2015, to ensure that the regulations remain effective. In each Parliament there will be a published target for the removal of regulatory burdens.Â

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