Main points of the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill
Improving the employment tribunal system and setting up a new Competition and Markets Authority are two of the main points of the new Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill.
It will also tackle directors’ pay and the burden of red tape.
The Government says the Bill is a central element in its drive to deliver strong and sustainable growth. It will do so by:
- Improving the employment tribunal system by encouraging parties to come together to settle their dispute before an employment tribunal claim is lodged. It will encourage a 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.
- 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.
- 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 £3billion 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.
- 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.
The Bill also aims to simplify regulation by reducing inspections and providing SMEs with advice on how to comply with regulations in areas such as trading standards, health and safety, and environmental health.
It will also repeal some unnecessary regulations and put a time limit on new ones through sunset clauses.
Business Secretary Vince Cable said: “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 culture.
“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.”
The Bill now begins its process through Parliament. We shall keep clients informed of developments. In the meantime, please contact Robert Bedford if you would like more information about the issues raised in this article.