Growth and fairness at heart of business legislation

The main elements include measures to set the purpose of the UK Green Investment Bank and ensure its independence, implement the competition landscape reforms, overhaul the employment tribunal system, cut unnecessary red tape for businesses and reform directors’ pay.

The two Bills planned for the next session of Parliament are the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill, and the Groceries Code Adjudicator Bill

Business Secretary Vince Cable said: “Securing economic growth through business investment and trade is absolutely essential to recovery. Government’s plans to cut red tape, boost green investment, reform the competition landscape and reform the banks are vital moves that would help strengthen the business environment and boost consumer and business confidence.”

The Queen’s Speech set out the Government’s plans for two business Bills.

The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill, which would:

  • overhaul the employment tribunal system and transform the dispute resolution landscape.
  • improve the effectiveness and efficiency of competition enforcement and the competitiveness of markets by strengthening the regime and improving the speed and predictability for business
  • set the purpose of the UK Green Investment Bank and ensure its independence to help accelerate private sector investment in the UK’s transition to a green economy.
  • strengthen the framework for setting directors’ pay by introducing binding votes
  • extend the Primary Authority scheme, reduce inspection burdens on business and strengthen the legal framework for sunset clauses on regulation
  • repeal unnecessary legislation, cutting the burden on business and citizens.
  • And the Groceries Code Adjudicator Bill that would:
  • create a Groceries Code Adjudicator (GCA) to uphold the Groceries Code to address the market dominance of the large retailers and ensure suppliers are treated fairly and lawfully.

The GCA would address these competition issues by arbitrating disputes between retailers and suppliers, investigating anonymous complaints, taking sanctions against retailers who break the rules.

BIS will be jointly introducing, with the Department for Education, a Bill for shared parental leave and flexible working.

BIS co-commissioned with the Treasury the Vickers Report which is leading to legislation to split investment bank and traditional banking.

It is expected that both BIS Bills would receive an early introduction.