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Enterprise Act 2016

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

4The SBC complaints scheme

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(1)The Commissioner must establish, maintain and administer a scheme (in this Part referred to as “the SBC complaints scheme”) under which the Commissioner

(a)enquires into, considers and determines relevant complaints, and

(b)may make recommendations as to how the issues raised by those complaints may be remedied, resolved or mitigated or how similar issues may be prevented from arising in future.

(2)The Commissioner must establish, maintain and administer the SBC complaints scheme in accordance with regulations made by the Secretary of State under section 7 (scheme regulations).

(3)“Relevant complaint” means a complaint which—

(a)is made by a small business (“the complainant”) which has an agreement to supply, or has supplied or may supply, goods or services to a larger business (“the respondent”),

(b)relates to a payment matter (see subsection (4)), and

(c)is not excluded from the scheme (see subsection (5)).

(4)A complaint relates to a payment matter if it relates to—

(a)a request or other act, or a failure to pay or other omission, in relation to a payment—

(i)for or in connection with the supply of goods or services, or

(ii)in connection with the relationship or possible relationship between the small business and the larger business so far as relevant to the supply, or

(b)any provision made or proposed to be made in connection with the supply or that relationship which restricts, or purports to restrict, any right of the small business to make a complaint under the SBC complaints scheme or to have a complaint enquired into, considered or determined under the scheme.

(5)A complaint is excluded from the scheme if—

(a)it relates to the appropriateness of the price payable or proposed to be payable under a contract for the goods or services supplied or to be supplied by the small business under the contract by comparison with those goods or services,

(b)it concerns matters which are currently the subject of legal proceedings or adjudication proceedings,

(c)it falls within the jurisdiction of an ombudsman, regulator or public authority (other than the Commissioner, a court or a tribunal),

(d)the complainant has a statutory right to refer the complaint for adjudication by a person other than a court or tribunal,

(e)the complaint relates to—

(i)an act or omission which occurred before the appointed start date, or

(ii)an act or omission in accordance with a term of a contract entered into before that date, where that term has not been varied on or after that date, or

(f)it is of a description specified by regulations made by the Secretary of State.

(6)For the purposes of paragraph (e) of subsection (5), “the appointed start date” means the date appointed by the Secretary of State by regulations.

(7)Regulations under this section may—

(a)make transitory or transitional provision or savings;

(b)make different provision for different purposes.

(8)Regulations under subsection (6) may appoint different dates for different areas.

(9)Regulations under this section are to be made by statutory instrument.

(10)A statutory instrument containing regulations under this section (other than regulations under subsection (6)) must not be made unless a draft of the instrument has been laid before and approved by a resolution of each House of Parliament.

(11)In this section “larger business” has the meaning given by section 3(11).

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