Last July, Prime Minister Theresa May made set about making major changes to the departments responsible for business. The new department overseeing business matters is now known as the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. It’s not the snappiest of names so we’ll be using its acronym, BEIS.
BEIS is the result of a merger between the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC).
Not all the responsibilities of BIS have moved to BEIS, however. Apprenticeships are now a responsibility of the Department for Education. The newly-created Department for International Trade now looks after trade and investment policy.
Minister champions Prompt Payment code
BEIS summarises its business responsibilities as ‘developing and delivering a comprehensive industrial strategy and leading the government’s relationship with business’.
Margot James, Minister for Small Business, Consumers and Corporate Responsibility will look after the interests of small business. A key priority for her is obtaining agreement from large companies to follow the Prompt Payment code. This initiative encourages companies to pay invoices within 30 days.
Also on the horizon is a new statutory duty for large businesses to report on their payment practices over the financial year. This is set to start after 6 April 2017.
We know problems with cash flow can be a barrier to success for many small businesses, and that promptly paid invoices could help them greatly. We look forward to seeing how the scheme works.