IFAs might be able to open doors to new contracts if they offer additional business support as small employers are struggling to cope with the increasing levels of bureaucracy and complexity.
Information supplied by FirstAssist – a firm which employs employment experts, lawyers, counsellors and health insurance specialists – suggests intermediaries – particularly fee-based advisers - might be best suited to helping small businesses on a regular basis with the management of their firm as most managing directors are unable to keep up-to-date with key changes to health and safety rules, legislation, taxation and contractual employment issues, for example.
FirstAssist recognises this is not the traditional of most financial advisers, who tend to advise corporate clients on core products and advisory services.
However, taking on an additional support role to help small firms cut red tape and building partnerships with other specialist businesses would add value to the firm as new rules and make it much harder to dispense with the IFA’s services.
FirstAssist points out, for example, the Health and Safety Executive will enforce a new Code of Practice on all firms from later this year which will place responsibility for staff stress and wellbeing on employers and require companies to assess the degree of stress involved in their employees' jobs.
At the same time, research published by Zurich UK suggests 60% of SMEs are “drowning in red tape”, yet SMEs make up 99% of the business community.IFAonline
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