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Have you noticed a reduction in Government generated ‘red tape’?

No? Anybody who has looked at the six separate pieces of new legislation required to get Shared Parental Leave off the blocks, will be forgiven for thinking that the Government’s commitment to reducing red tape has spectacularly failed. 

Undeterred, BIS have published a new summary of the legislation it has committed to review, in order to decide whether Regulations should be amended, replaced or removed.

BIS’s opening gambit is that it is strongly committed to using ‘robust evidence to support the development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of its Regulations’. The principles it applies are to evaluate whether:

1. satisfactory outcomes can be achieved in a different way (ie; via self regulation);

2. the costs and benefits support regulation; and

3. the Regulations and enforcement framework are proportionate, accountable, consistent, transparent and targeted.

To be fair, the ‘red tape challenge’ has led to some improvements. The National Minimum Wage Regulations (which have been amended more than 20 times) have been consolidated and the new ones are expected to come into force on 6 April 2015. Although the law on the NMW will not really change, the advantage of consolidating the legislation means that, for the first time, employers can find all of the relevant rules in one place. 

In the context of employment law, the key items of legislation that are going to be reviewed include the Regulations on:

  • Flexible working (review anticipated by 30 April 2019)
  • Shared parental leave (review expected by 2018)
  • Parental leave (review expected by 8 March 2018)
  • Early Conciliation (review expected by 6 April 2019) 

BIS will also examine whether the repeal of the default retirement age has changed attitudes or caused any particular issues for business. 

It is likely that the dates provided will change to accommodate the priorities of whichever party (or parties!) form the next Government.