How will the Enterprise Bill 2016 affect UK businesses?

27 January 2016

The Commons Library has published a briefing paper which looks at the impact of the Enterprise Bill. The Bill would create a Small Business Commissioner to give advice and assist small businesses in payment disputes with larger firms.

The Bill also aims to increase apprenticeships, change business rates and manage exit payments within the public sector.

The second reading of the Bill is scheduled for 2 February 2016.

Support with late payments

The issue of late payment of invoices, especially to small firms, is an ongoing one within the business community. The Small Business Commissioner complaints scheme would consider and make decisions about complaints from small businesses about payment issues with larger companies.

Insurance claims

The Bill will require the insurer to pay any sums due in respect of the claim within a reasonable time. It also restricts the ability of insurers to avoid the implied term by inserting their own terms, or “contracting out”, to negate it.


The Bill includes requires public sector bodies to contribute towards increasing the number of apprenticeships. It will also protect the term by making it an offence for a course or training to be offered as an apprenticeship if it is not a statutory apprenticeship.

Public sector exit payments

The Bill will restrict exit payments within the public sector to a value of £95,000. This amount may be changed only in special cases.

Content list of briefing paper

  • The Small Business Commissioner
  • Regulators
  • Extension of the Primary Authority scheme
  • Apprenticeships
  • Late payment of insurance claims
  • Non-domestic rating
  • Other enterprise-related provisions
  • Public sector employment

Tracking this Bill

Keep up to date with the progress of this Bill as it proceeds through Parliament.

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