Business secretary presents Regulatory Reform Bill to simplify employment law and help private sector create jobs
David Woods, May 23, 2012
The business secretary, Vince Cable (pictured) has this afternoon, presented the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill to Parliament, aiming to simplify complexity in the employment tribunals system and give shareholders a binding vote on directors’ pay.
The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) said the Bill is a "central element in the Government's aim for strong, sustainable and balanced growth, powered by investment, exports, technology and enterprise".
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.
BIS said taking away the fear of employment tribunals will give business more confidence to take on new staff.
The Bill will also seek to address the disconnect between directors' pay and long-term company performance by giving shareholders of UK quoted companies binding votes on directors' remuneration. It is hoped this will encourage shareholders to be more engaged and companies to listen to what they say.
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.
It will ensure 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.
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 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."
It is hoped the Bill will cut the costs of doing business in Britain and remove regulatory burdens that currently inhibit innovation, boost consumer and business confidence and help the private sector create jobs.
The Bill will now begins its passage through both Houses of Parliament.