“Something For Everyone”?

Monopoly PictureFilm buffs will be familiar with the plot of 1970s motion picture ‘Something For Everyone’ – Michael York plays the role of an ambitious butler (Konrad), who seduces the wealthy Countess Herthe von Ornstein, played by Angela Landesbury.  The plot is based around a story about an unexpected marriage full of promise but the honeymoon proved to be a disaster.  The question is:

Were Vince Cable and his colleagues aware of the future that awaited them, that the plot of a 70s British film was uncannily similar to their own experience in government, when they decided to write a law which really should be renamed ‘Something In It For Everyone’?  Literally?  It is actually called ‘The Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015’ and was stewarded through largely in the last parliament. It covers anything and everything, from zero hour contracts to child care, micro businesses, working from home and pubs, and a whole lot more.  There is a drop of legislation to go around for all.  A few things caught my eye:
  1. The acknowledgement that zero hour contracts are legal – but preventing the use of restrictive covenants (bans on working for competitors).
  2. The end of the pub tie – probably the first use of the word “pub” in legislation time (gentlemen) will only tell if this statute is enough to save the institution.
  3. Home businesses can now work from home (well don’t they anyway?). The law was a bit grey for landlords – for people living and working in flats, it may sort out some of the confusion in leases.
  4. Micro businesses – another new word for law makers – now, if your business is less than 10 people you are officially “micro” and the new Business Secretary can start legislating for you –not sure yet what those regulations will be though. Or were they in the micro print?!
  5. Child Care – really – interesting but how did that get in there?!
Perhaps as ministers prepared to spend “more time with their families”, they wanted to legislate for them.  Well, now that they are all at home, they’ll be deep in their children’s exam stress, which is traditional at this time of year.  This is apt as this legislation feels like a hasty last minute answer – with everything chucked in to scrape over the pass  mark.We don’t know what the next 5 years holds for businesses but let’s hope the pass mark for business law goes up.
For Business Advice Contact David.Gordon@dg-law.co.uk

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