Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill published
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23 May 2012 - BIS
Department for Business, Innovation
- Improving the employment tribunal system;
- Setting up the new Competition and
- Setting the purpose of the UK Green
Investment Bank; and
- Giving shareholder binding votes on
Business Secretary, Vince Cable today presented the
Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill to Parliament. The Bill is a
central element in the Government’s aim for strong, sustainable and
balanced growth, powered by investment, exports, technology and
Government has already taken action on issues including tax, regulation
and planning to support British businesses and promote economic growth,
but Ministers are determined to do more.
Business Secretary Vince Cable said:
“Growing our economy out of a period of acute crisis is the most
pressing issue for this Government. We want to make sure the right
conditions are in place to encourage investment and exports, boost
enterprise, support green growth and build a responsible business
“The measures in the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill will help
make Britain one of the most enterprise-friendly countries in the
world. It will improve our employment tribunals, reform and strengthen
competition enforcement, scrap unnecessary red tape and help ensure
that people who work hard and do the right thing are rewarded.”
Subject to the will of Parliament, the Bill will deliver legislation aimed
at encouraging long term growth by:
• Improving the employment tribunal system by encouraging
parties to come together to settle their dispute before an
employment tribunal claim is lodged, through Acas
early conciliation and greater use of Settlement Agreements.
It will also make the determination of less complex disputes quicker
and cheaper for employers and employees alike, through a new ‘Rapid
Resolution’ scheme. Taking away the fear of employment
tribunals will give business more confidence to take on new staff.
• Establishing a new Competition and Markets Authority,
bringing together the competition functions of the Office of Fair
Trading and the Competition Commission. This will be the principal
competition authority with a remit to tackle anti-competitive behaviour
and ensure dynamic and open markets. Competition processes will be
faster, with clearer timeframes bringing greater certainty and reduced
burdens on business.
• Setting the purpose of the UK Green Investment Bank
in legislation, embedding its operational independence and providing
Government with a specific power to finance it, with initial funding of
£3 billion to March 2015. These measures will help the Bank to
accelerate long-term private sector investment in the UK’s transition
to a green economy.
• Addressing the disconnect between directors’ pay and
long-term company performance by giving shareholders of UK
quoted companies binding votes on directors’
remuneration. This will encourage shareholders to be more engaged and
companies to listen to what they say.
• Deterring the importation and sale of unauthorised replicas
of classic designs which qualify for copyright protection and
extending copyright protection for mass-produced artistic
works to life of the creator plus 70 years. These measures will promote
innovation in the design industry and encourage investment in new
products, while discouraging unauthorised copies.
The Bill will simplify regulation by:
• Reducing inspection burdens on
businesses of all sizes and increasing SME access to reliable,
consistent advice on complying with regulations in areas such as
trading standards, health and safety and environmental health.
• Ensuring powers to put a time-limit on new regulations
via 'sunset clauses’. Departments should make a case to keep regulation
- otherwise it will be scrapped.
• Repealing some unnecessary regulations, e.g.
improving the operation of heritage consent regimes without reducing
This important new Bill will cut the costs of doing business in Britain
and remove regulatory burdens that currently inhibit innovation. It
will boost consumer and business confidence and help the private sector
The Bill now begins its passage through both Houses of Parliament.
Notes to editors: 1. The Enterprise and Regulatory
Reform Bill can be accessed
(From 2.30pm, 23 May 2012)
2. The Government recently consulted on proposals to give shareholders
binding votes on directors’ pay. Following consideration of the
consultation responses, the Government aims to bring forward further
detail on how this will work later in the legislative process.
3. We are changing the name of ‘Compromise Agreements’ to ‘Settlement
Agreements’ to help improve understanding of their purpose. This is
part of a broader package to simplify and increase the use of such
agreements to resolve workplace disputes, particularly for small
businesses, without the need for an employment tribunal. We believe
‘settlement’ more accurately describes an agreement that is about
delivering a satisfactory solution for both parties.
4. The legislation on ‘Rapid Resolution’ will allow legal officers to
determine prescribed employment tribunal claims. This will resolve more
straightforward employment disputes – such as holiday pay – quickly and
at less cost to both parties.
5. The Bill includes some of the first repeals to be implemented from
the Red Tape Challenge. Overall, of the 1,500 regulations where
Ministers have already made decisions, the Government has committed to
scrap or improve well over 50%.
6. Reducing inspection burdens and increasing access to
advice will be achieved through extending eligibility to the ‘Primary
Authority’ scheme and strengthening inspection plans formed under the
scheme. For more information, please visit the Better
Regulation Delivery Office website.
About the Author
© Crown Copyright. Material taken from the BIS Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. Reproduced under the terms and conditions of the Click-Use Licence.
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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2012-05-25 12:28:53 in Legal Articles