How will King's Lynn businesses be affected by the General Election?
With a General Election coming before Christmas it will be interesting to see what the political parties promise for small business and employment, and what impact these might have for Lynn and our region.
Some fairly radical ideas are already being talked about including the introduction of a four-day week, although I imagine very popular with employees, it is hard to understand how this is affordable for small and medium-sized firms.
There is also an intention to raise the minimum wage with a target rate of £10.50 per hour. Again, is this affordable to firms locally? The stalemate over Brexit is definitely affecting consumer confidence and having an impact on some of our clients – a motor dealership is reporting very slow sales and put it down to Brexit.
Let’s see what measures are proposed to support small businesses and start-ups which account for the vast majority of jobs locally and nationally.
Improving infrastructure, such as roads, rail and telephone/internet connectivity, is, I believe, critical to building and growing our local economy. Some schemes such as improvements to A47 and Ely Junction continue to be talked about, but shovels still haven’t shifted any sand!
In the meantime, legislation relating to employment keeps getting passed – how do our MPs find the time to keep local businesses on their toes, eh? Coming down the track are changes to employment contracts and further changes to gender pay gap reporting, widening the reporting requirements.
Although these laws and regulations are well intentioned, it is extremely difficult for small and micro businesses to keep up to date, and so employers are increasingly turning to specialists such as Human Capital Department to advise on employment matters, and provide practical help with documentation, procedures and policies where needed to ensure compliance and the smooth running of their businesses as well as advise on strategic Human Resource Management.
What’s on your Christmas list?