Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013
The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 came into force in April 2013. The Act aimed to cut the costs of undertaking business in Britain, which was hoped would enhance consumer and business confidence and assist with job creation in the private sector. It was believed that small, medium and micro businesses would benefit in particular from the Act.
The main sections of the Act are as follows:
- Establishing of the UK Green Investment Bank (Part 1).
- Reformation of aspects of employment law (Part 2).
- Strengthening of the regulatory settlement on mergers and anti-competition behaviour (Parts 3 & 4).
- Reducing regulation (Part 5).
 Key points
The main aims of the Act are as follows:
- Outlines the purpose of the UK Green Investment Bank.
- Improves the employment tribunal system.
- Implements the measures from the Red Tape Challenge.
- Enhances and streamlines the UK’s competition regime and creates a new Competition and Markets Authority.
- Simplifies regulations.
- Brings the UK’s copyright framework up-to-date.
- Provides the shareholders of UK quoted companies binding votes on the salary of directors.
- Provides customers with the power to request their transactional data in an electronic format.
 Benefits of the Act for small and medium businesses
 Civil liability for breaches of health and safety duties
Prior to this Act, employers could have been liable to pay compensation to employees, even if there was no breach in health and safety policy and it was not possible to prevent the injury from occurring. With the implementation of the Act, the employer is only liable if there is proof of negligence and the employer can defend themselves if they took reasonable steps to reduce the risk.
Before an individual can claim at an employment tribunal, they must be in contact with Acas who will aim to settle the dispute through conciliation rather than taking the matter to an employment tribunal.
If an employee is unfairly dismissed, the government has now introduced a pay cap of 12 months’ pay or £74,200.
 Competition reform
The Act creates a revised single Competition and Markets Authority which assists in tackling anti-competitive practices.
 Supply of customer data
The Act is aimed at supporting the Government’s midata programme which, if enforced, compels companies to release data electronically to individual and small business customers. This allows small businesses the option to help source the best deals for them in key banking, energy and telecoms markets.
 Extending the Primary Authority Scheme
A business that operates across more than one Local Authority will have consistent advice provided from a single authority which is known as the ‘Primary Authority’. This ensures that businesses have the consistency required in the application of rules and procedures.
 Amending the Equality Act 2010
The Act simplifies and strengthens some equality measures which aim to ensure there is legal protection from discrimination whilst relieving some of the burden on businesses.
 Directors’ pay
Under the Act, shareholders of UK quoted companies can have a binding vote on the pay a Director receives.
 Further information
The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has produced a guide to accompany the act.
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