Insight / Prompt payment to SMEs critical for government contractors

The government is launching a package of measures designed to level the playing field for smaller businesses bidding to win government contracts, including proposals to exclude suppliers from major government procurements if they cannot demonstrate fair and effective payment practices with their subcontractors

Insight / Four ‘good work’ consultations published in response to Taylor review

The government has published four consultations setting out its proposals in response to the Matthew Taylor review of modern work practices, which will form part of its newly announced ‘good work’ plan

Audit / FRC set to revise Corporate Governance Code

The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) plans to review the UK Corporate Governance Code to focus on the need for companies to consider how they benefit wider society, following calls from a government advisory group for more support in developing a culture of social impact investment

Insight / DWP consults on enhanced disclosures for occupational pension schemes

Pension schemes will for the first time be compelled to publish the fees they charge their members for investing their pension, under proposals announced by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) which it is estimated could benefit up to ten million individuals

Insight / Plan for six-week ‘breathing space’ for debtors

The Treasury is seeking views on plans to offer people struggling with serious debt a ‘breathing space’ from their bills, with up to six weeks free from further interest, charges and enforcement action

Insight / Consultation on principles for shareholder voting research

The Best Practice Principles Group (BPPG) has launched a consultation seeking views from investors and companies on whether the best practice principles for shareholder voting research and analysis have been effective in ensuring the integrity and efficiency of the services provided

Insight / Plans to lower turnover threshold for foreign takeover scrutiny to £1m

The government is to update the merger system to enable greater scrutiny of foreign investment with measures which it says are designed to better protect national security, and include substantially lowering the threshold for intervention

Insight / Pension body proposes national retirement income targets

The Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) has launched a consultation on introducing a set of new national retirement income targets (RITs) to make it simpler for people to understand how much they need to save to support themselves when not working, and on changes to the current retirement saving system to encourage greater take-up

Insight / Moves to improve transparency of online charity platforms

The Charity Commission and the Fundraising Regulator are reviewing ways in which online charitable platforms operate, following concerns about possible fraudulent activity, oversight of the end-use of funds and transparency about the fees charged by sites

Insight / IESBA ethics code updated to clarify inducement rules

The International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (IESBA) is consulting on proposals to strengthen the provisions in the code of ethics for professional accountants regarding the accepting and offering of inducements

Insight / Corporate governance code to cover pay ratios and employees’ voices

The government has set out a package of corporate governance reforms which will see listed companies required to publish pay ratios between chief executives and their average UK workers for the first time as part of plans to enhance boardroom accountability through wider reporting

Insight / Government to clamp down on pension scams

A ban on cold calling in relation to pensions, including texts and emails, along with tougher actions to prevent fraudulent pension schemes have been introduced by the government, as part of a crackdown on scammers who are targeting pension funds

Insight / Treasury seeks to promote ‘patient’ finance for start-ups

The Treasury is planning to establish a national investment fund to help cutting-edge British start-ups, which it says receive less funding than their US counterparts, and is consulting on the options for increasing the availability of patient finance

Insight / Warning of tough action on labour law breaches

Companies have been warned they could face tougher action on breaches of labour laws, including failure to ensure their supply chain is meeting all regulations, as part of a new strategy being developed by Sir David Metcalf, the recently appointed director of labour market enforcement

Insight / Review of Groceries Code Adjudicator finds persistent ‘climate of fear’ in suppliers

A statutory review of the Groceries Code Adjudicator (GCA) has found an ongoing concern that some supermarket suppliers are reluctant to bring issues to the adjudicator owing to a ‘climate of fear’