Minister for Competitiveness, Stephen Timms MP announces October 2009 date

Government delays changes to Companies Act

The Forum of Private Business has welcomed a delay to changes that will affect the Companies Act, after the body had complained that the speed with which the changes were being implanted would unfairly affect smaller businesses.

The Minister for Competitiveness, Stephen Timms MP, announced the delay to Parliament. In his address, he said that its implementation would be pushed back to 2009 to allow businesses to implement necessary changes to comply with the law.

In an open letter to Mr Timms, Matt Hardman, the FPB’s campaigns manager, said that the move was welcomed by the group as a sign that the Government was willing to give companies a chance to comply, rather than punishing them unreasonably.

"The process of turning legislation into regulation is often rushed and, as a consequence, the cost in terms of compliance, for smaller businesses in particular, can be severe," he wrote.

"The FPB will now have more time to brief its members on the changes coming into force and will be able to signpost them to the appropriate guidance. We see this as a positive step towards the Government listening to, and taking on board, the needs of smaller businesses."

The changes, which were due to come into effect last month, will now be effective from October 1st, 2009.

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