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Mon June 14 2021

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Deregulation Bill takes aim at red tape

2 Jul 13 Rules about health & safety, apprentices and employment law are reformed in the government’s draft Deregulation Bill, which was published yesterday.

The proposed legislation, designed to ease red tape on businesses, will now be scrutinised by a joint committee of MPs and peers, and brought before parliament when time allows.

Ministers have identified more than 1,900 regulations that can be scrapped or reduced.

The Deregulation Bill amends or repeals 182 different pieces of legislation.

Measures range from making it easier for village halls to run film nights on a not-for-profit basis to overhauling no-win, no-fee legal claims and increasing the qualifying period for unfair dismissal to two years.

Health & safety reform will have little impact on construction; it is aimed at self-employed workers in low risk occupations, who will now be exempt.

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The system of apprenticeships will also be reformed along the lines recommended by the Richard Review.  An implementation plan for apprenticeship reform will be published in September.

The wide-ranging measures also include new incentives to contractors to carry out roadworks at off-peak times.

Ken Clarke, minister without portfolio, said: “I am as strongly in favour of sensible regulation as the next man, but only where it is necessary to prevent wrongdoing and protect the public. In recent years a mountain of unnecessary legislation has been piled onto the statute book, usually introduced with the most worthy motives. This regulatory burden wastes time and money for hard-working people and ties honest businesses and public bodies in bureaucratic knots.

“The Deregulation Bill is just the latest offspring of the government’s highly ambitious Red Tape Challenge, which has already identified and removed barriers to the growth of our economy to the tune of £212m each year. There is much more to come.”

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