There is no universally accepted definition of a “small or medium-sized enterprise (SME).

However, the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BIS) and the European Union (EU) define a small enterprise as one with fewer than 50 employees and a medium-sized enterprise as one with at least 50 but fewer than 250 employees.

Large enterprises have 250 or more employees.

Apprenticeship providers turn SMEs away due to levy fund shortage

A shortage of apprenticeship funding means that a quarter of smaller firms have been turned away by training providers, while...

MPs urge radical improvements in apprenticeships

22 May 2019

MPs have strongly criticised the government’s apprenticeship programme, in particular its focus on higher level placements and failure to meet the needs of smaller employers.

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Could #MeToo clauses for start-ups put a stop to harassment?

5 Apr 2019

Investors in start-ups are putting young companies under increased scrutiny to ensure they have a clean record on sexual harassment....

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£400m apprenticeship levy underspend revealed

4 Mar 2019

Only £268m was spent by levy-paying employers on apprentices in the programme's first year of operation, 2017-18. This equated to just 13% of the Treasury's £2.01bn apprenticeships budget and contributed to a £400m underspend.

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Criticism of levy mounts as Apprenticeship Week kicks off

4 Mar 2019

Training providers air criticism of the government's apprenticeship levy as surveys reveal the extent of ignorance over the scheme.

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High-growth firms crowd out competition for talent

22 Jan 2019

The UK’s efforts to boost productivity while ironing out regional inequalities in job creation may be fundamentally at odds, according...

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Will the apprenticeship levy mean smaller businesses lose out?

10 Mar 2017

It is the Government’s flagship policy to fix the UK’s skills problem, a well-intentioned “tax” on employers to raise £3...

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Will better access to HR support improve management at SMEs?

28 Jan 2016

A new initiative from the CIPD aims to push HR consulting and advice as high up the agenda for small...

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Only 14% of small businesses fully support the introduction of shared parental leave

Small businesses unprepared for shared parental leave

20 Mar 2015

Many small businesses are unprepared for shared parental leave and do not expect their staff to want to take it,...

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Small businesses’ RTI start date postponed

20 Mar 2013

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has given small businesses a temporary exemption from real time information (RTI) payroll requirements ahead...

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Government to simplify apprenticeships for SMEs

29 Aug 2012

The Government has announced a raft of measures to challenge the “outdated view” of apprenticeships among small businesses to encourage...

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Cost is biggest barrier to training in small businesses

17 Aug 2012

Small businesses cite cost as the main obstacle to providing training for their employees, with many opting for lower-cost training...

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Government confirms pensions auto-enrolment timetable for small businesses

16 Jul 2012

Businesses with fewer than 50 workers will not have to auto-enrol their employees into workplace pension schemes before June 2015,...

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How SMEs can gain an advantage in recruitment

31 May 2012

Recruiting in the “noughties” was tough; it was a decade in which we were all obsessed by “Generation Y” that was...

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No-fault dismissals are not the solution to underperformance

25 May 2012

Cary Cooper, professor of organisational psychology and health at Lancaster University, considers the Beecroft Report’s recommendations on addressing employee underperformance.There...

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