The Most Critical Legal Challenges Faced By UK Businesses in 2024

June 6, 2024

The business sphere in the UK is one that is ever-changing so in order to succeed you will need to keep on top of the shifting landscape. Here are some challenges you should be aware of as a business owner.

Adapting to changing tax laws

In the Spring Budget in April 2024, it was announced that the VAT threshold would be raised to £90,000 from the beginning of April. Previously, it was set at £85,000. This aims to stimulate economic growth by giving smaller businesses more freedom with their money.

The cultural sector is set to get a boost as well, with a packet of supportive measures being announced. From 1 April 2025 rates of tax relief will be permanently set at 45% for theatres, museums and galleries’ touring productions, 40% for their non-touring productions and 45% for orchestras.

Tax matters are a complex affair and there can be penalties if you get it wrong. Find yourself a team of expert solicitors to support your business and you can be confident you are being compliant.

Employment law challenges

Following the UK’s exit from the EU, there have been several changes to employment law. New legislation on sexual harassment within the workplace will require employers to take reasonable steps to prevent this in the future. If a business fails to comply, they will end up facing penalties. This change comes into force from October 2024.

Flexible working is also going to be supported more by law. From 6th April 2024, employees can make a statutory request to permanently change their working hours. Previously, employees could only make one request every 12 months, but this has been increased to two requests. Businesses are now required to respond to the request within two months, and can only deny the request for one of eight reasons.

Contractual disputes

Contract disputes are, unfortunately, not a new phenomenon for 2024. Often, the best starting point for resolving a contract dispute is to look at the contract itself. It should be a watertight document that you can use as evidence.

Sometimes, contracts are agreed verbally, and this can make conflict resolution more difficult. However, you may be able to look back through any previous correspondence such as emails or messages and gain your evidence that way.

Some contracts contain an escalation clause which will detail the precise steps that either party can go through to seek a resolution that both parties are happy with. Each step will add a layer of formality which provides both parties with increased legal and financial protection.

Contractual disputes are not ideal for any business, so try to keep your relationship with other parties cordial and polite so you don’t end up escalating the situation unnecessarily.