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New rules and regulations small business owners need to know in 2023

New rules and regulations small business owners need to know in 2023
Dan Martin
Dan Martin
Freelance content creator & event host
Dan Martin Content & Events

Posted: Fri 30th Dec 2022

There are several new rules and regulations small business owners need to be aware of in 2023. Here's a summary. We are keeping this post updated.

1 April 2023: National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage increases

The hourly rates increase as follows:

  • Workers aged 23 and over: £10.42 (up from £9.50)

  • Workers aged 21 and 22: £10.18 (up from £9.18)

  • Workers aged 18-20: £7.49 (up from £6.83)

  • Workers aged under 18: £5.28 (up from £4.81)

  • Apprentices: £5.28 (up from £4.81)

Useful resources:

2 April 2023: Statutory parental leave increases

Statutory maternity, adoption, paternity, shared parental, adoption and parental bereavement pay increases to £172.48 per week (up from £156.66).

2 April 2023: Statutory sick pay increase

Statutory sick pay increases to £109.40 per week (up from £99.35).

Useful resources:

New HMRC late submission penalty system

The government is changing the sanctions for late submission of tax returns and late payment of taxes.

Financial penalties will no longer be automatically applied. Instead, taxpayers will incur a certain number of points before a fine is levied.

HM Revenue & Customs says the new system is designed to only penalise those who persistently miss their obligations rather than those who make occasional mistakes.

The changes initially apply to VAT customers for accounting periods beginning on or after 1 January 2023.

Useful resources:

1 April 2023: Business rates in England

As announced in the government’s 2022 Autumn Statement, business rates multipliers for 2023-24 will be frozen at 49.9p and 51.2p, instead of the previously planned increases of 52.9p and 54.2p. The government said this means bills will be 6% lower than without the freeze, before any reliefs are applied.

The Retail, Hospitality and Leisure (RHL) relief scheme will be increased from 50% to 75% for 2023-24, up to £110,000 per business. The government said it amounts to a £2.1bn saving for around 230,000 business properties.

A £1.6bn Transitional Relief Scheme will be introduced that will cap bill increases caused by changes in rateable values at the 2023 revaluation. The 'upward caps' will be 5%, 15% and 30%, respectively, for small, medium, and large properties in 2023-24. The government said 700,000 businesses will be supported by this scheme over three years.

8 May 2023: Extra bank holiday

To mark the coronation of King Charles III on Saturday 6 May, there will be an extra bank holiday on Monday 8 May.

There is no legal right for employees to be given a bank holiday as paid leave. It is dependent on their contract of employment. Bank holidays can be included as part of a worker's statutory annual leave, or given as extra days off on top of that.

There is no legal right for employees to receive extra pay (such as double pay or time-and-a-half) if they work on a bank holiday. If extra pay for bank holidays is stipulated in an employment contract, an employer must provide it. Some employers may choose to provide additional money for working on a bank holiday as an incentive even if it is not included in the contract.

Useful resource:

Bank holidays: Six things employers need to know

16 August 2023: Scottish government's Deposit Return Scheme

The Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) is designed to reduce waste in Scotland. It applies to producers, importers, retailers and wholesalers of drinks sold in Scotland in single-use containers made from PET plastic, glass, steel, or aluminium and sized between 50ml and three litres.

Customers pay a 20p deposit when they buy a drink covered by the scheme. They get it back when they return the bottle.

The scheme's introduction has been delayed with the current launch date set for 16 August 2023.

Under the rules, all businesses are required to operate a return point so customers can get their money back. However, after complaints by businesses about the costs involved it is likely that amendments to the rules will be introduced. In an update letter to the Scottish Parliament on 15 December, circular economy minister Lorna Slater proposed only initially requiring the largest grocery supermarkets to provide a takeback service with all other businesses will be exempt.

Useful resources:

October 2023: Ban on single-use plastics in England

A range of single-use plastics will be banned in England from October 2023. It includes single-use plastic plates, trays, bowls, cutlery, balloon sticks, and certain types of polystyrene cups and food containers.

The ban will not apply to plates, trays, and bowls that are used as packaging in shelf-ready pre-packaged food items, as these will be included in the government's plans for an Extended Producer Responsibility Scheme, which will incentivise producers to use packaging that can be recycled and meet higher recycling targets. For example, this would include pre-packaged salad bowls and bowls filled with food at the counter of a takeaway.

30 November 2023: Closure of Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) system

CHIEF, which is used to identify goods for border checks, will close to export declarations on 30 November 2023. It closed to import declarations on 30 September 2022.

From 1 December 2023, all import and export declarations need to be made using HMRC's Customs Declaration Service (CDS).

Useful resources:

31 December 2023: Closure of Northern Ireland Trader Support Service

The Northern Ireland Trader Support Service (TSS) was set up to help traders meet their administrative obligations under the Northern Ireland Protocol following Brexit.

The service was originally due to close on 31 December 2022 but the government has extended it until 31 December 2023.

Useful resources:

Dan Martin
Dan Martin
Freelance content creator & event host
Dan Martin Content & Events
I'm a freelance journalist and event host who helps small businesses and the organisations that support them. I'm also Enterprise Nation's news reporter and Bristol Local Leader. I have 20 years of experience as a small business journalist having interviewed hundreds of entrepreneurs from famous names like Sir Richard Branson and Deborah Meaden to the founders behind brand new start-ups. I've worked for a range of leading small business publications and support groups, most recently as head of content at Enterprise Nation where I was responsible for the prolific output of content on the company's blog and social media. I now freelance for Enterprise Nation as the website's news reporter and as the host of the Small Business sessions podcast. I'm based in Bristol where I run and host regular events with the local small business community in my role as Enterprise Nation's Local Leader for Bristol. I also have strong connections with other major business organisations in the south west region. In total, I've hosted over 100 events including conferences with an audience of hundreds for international brands like Xero and Facebook and live web chats from inside 10 Downing Street. With my partner, I co-run Lifestyle District, a lifestyle blog focused on culture, art, theatre and photography.

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