Smarter Regulation: One Year On

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This details the progress so far on the government’s Smarter Regulation Programme, which is designed to re-energise regulatory reform, capitalise on the benefits of Brexit.

The announcement includes 25 new smarter regulation announcements covering almost every sector of our economy. So far, it is estimated that our reforms will reduce the burden on business by up to £1 billion, or 50 million hours a year by cutting unnecessary bureaucracy and form filling. The overall benefits to society are estimated at £6.3 billion.

This publication marks the launch of 9 new publications helping us to make further progress on smarter regulation:

  • Delivering a Regulatory Environment for Innovation, Investment and Growth, a new White Paper focussed on supporting regulators to deliver a world-class service to consumers and businesses, and to help drive economic growth.
  • Non-financial Reporting Review: Simpler Corporate Reporting, which proposes raising the corporate reporting threshold for medium-sized companies from 250 to 500 employees, which will make a further 2,000 large companies medium sized and exempting 41,000-43,000 medium-sized companies from producing a strategic report. This could save businesses around £150 million per year.  
  • Deregulating the Commercial Agents Regulations, proposals to free businesses to negotiate contracts with one another without reference to outdated regulations that create legal ambiguity and confusion.
  • Employment Law Reform, proposals to abolish the legal framework for European Works Councils and introduce reforms to the complex TUPE regulations. These will save businesses time and money, while continuing to protect workers’ rights. The reforms could save businesses in the region of £5 million.
  • Consultation on UK REACH, proposals on an alternative model for UK REACH, which reduce the need for industry to access EU hazard data, improve data on ‘use and exposure’ and improve regulator powers, while ensuring high levels of protection for human health and the environment are maintained.
  • Alcohol Licensing – Consumption of Alcohol in Licensed Pavement Areas / Off-sales, a consultation building on COVID easements to simplify how the sale of alcohol is licensed for consumption in pavement areas next to pubs and bars. This will support al fresco hospitality, including an option for providing take-away and delivery sales by default.
  • Measures Relating to the Land-based Gambling Sector: Consultation Response, the government’s response to a consultation on reforming the land-based gambling industry. This outlines the government’s plans to support British community institutions, like seaside arcades, bingo halls and casinos, helping them to survive and grow following a difficult period post-pandemic.
  • A Long-term Strategy on Developing the GB Type Approval Scheme for Road Vehicles, a vision to open our markets to new vehicles and support innovation. This sets out our key principles to support businesses across the automotive sector and ensure Great Britain has an agile system that keeps pace with technological developments and innovation in a dynamic and rapidly evolving global market.
  • Proposal to lower the minimum age requirement to be a train driver in Great Britain from 20 to 18 years. The Department for Transport has launched a public consultation on a proposal to lower the minimum age requirement to be a train driver in Great Britain from 20 to 18 years. By creating new career paths and opportunities for school leavers, this change could help attract new and diverse talent into the profession and support the reliability of services by increasing the pool of drivers in the rail industry.


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