With the looming election, it’s important for us to think ahead on how a change in government might affect all employers, especially SMEs. Policy shifts can significantly impact regulations, taxes, and business operations. SMEs, which often operate on tighter margins, may need to adapt quickly to new rules and economic conditions.  
 
Here are a few points to consider: 
 
Regulatory Changes: Potential new regulations could affect compliance requirements and operational procedures. 
Tax Policies: Alterations in tax laws might influence financial planning and cash flow management. 
Economic Policies: Shifts in economic policy could impact market conditions and business growth opportunities. 
Employment Law: Changes to employment laws might affect hiring practices, employee benefits, and workplace policies. 
Support for SMEs: New government programs or funding opportunities could provide vital support or require adjustments to leverage them effectively. 
 
5 Key things to look out for in this election include:  
 
Notably, 2 out of 3 major party manifestos propose to extend workers' rights, particularly day 1 rights, which could come into effect as soon as 100 days from the election, potentially by October 2024.  
Additionally, all major parties are advocating for stronger action on late payments through the prompt payment code, aiming to support small businesses in managing cash flow more effectively.  
Furthermore, all major party manifestos include proposals to support investment, funding, and support for SMEs, although the impact of this and timing remains to be seen.  
Importantly, both the Conservatives and Labour propose capping corporation tax at 25%, which could have significant implications for business planning and growth strategies. 
From an employment law point of view, Labour's manifesto goes the furthest in increasing the minimum wage and workers' rights. Our advice for SMEs is to stay informed and be ready to adapt to whatever a new government brings.  
 
From a practical point of view, plan now for an annual HR and People Audit post October, that will keep you compliant and enable you to plan for success, whatever the outcome of the current political contest. More than ever, it's vital that SMEs ensure that disciplinary policies are robust, understood, and consistently followed. The key to this is ensuring all your managers are trained and understand performance management so that they do not make any costly mistakes.  
 
For more information on how we can support you, contact kate@humberhrpeople.co.uk. 
 
Proactive planning and staying informed about potential policy changes can help businesses navigate this uncertain period with greater confidence. Let's stay engaged and prepared for whatever the future holds. 
 
#smallbusinessmatters #humberhrpeople #election2024 #employmentlaw  
 
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