The creaking statute book

Further elements of the Companies Act 2006, thelargest ever piece of business legislation, have come into force – including the imposition of tighter rules for directors around the disclosure of conflicts of interest.

The Corporate Manslaughter Act demands more stringent health and safety practices and imposes a fine of up to 10% of turnover.

Corporation tax is on the rise for small companies, to 21% for this financial year, as is the National Minimum Wage, now £5.73/hour.

Agency workers have the right to statutory sick pay from day one and employers of migrant workers must now make periodic checks on their entitlement to work in the UK.

There is no longer any difference between the terms and conditions for Ordinary and Additional Maternity Leave, a change that the Government estimates may cost employers over £156 million.

Employers may now be liable for the sexual harassment of employees by third parties, not just other employees.

Consumer protection in respect of doorstep selling has been extended to include contracts, as well as the purchase of goods or services.

Full business rates are payable on property that has been empty for more than three months.