Deregulation Act 2015 - apprenticeships, tribunal recommendations, health & safety law

Deregulation Act 2015

On 26 March 2015 the Deregulation Act 2015 obtained Royal Assent. The Act contains provisions to make changes to health and safety law; to limit the powers of employment tribunals to make recommendations; and to introduce the concept of an ‘approved English apprenticeship’.

Apprenticeships.

The independent Review of Apprenticeships by Doug Richard (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-richard-review-of-apprenticeships) in 2012 recommended that the government improve the quality of apprenticeships and make them more focused on the needs of employers. The aim of the new legislation is to improve and simplify the statutory arrangements. Approved English apprenticeships will replace apprenticeships under the Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Act 2009 in England but not in Wales (section 3). Approved apprenticeships will be funded by the Secretary of State and there will be completion certificates by certifying authorities. The new apprenticeships will have to specify certain conditions to be set out in regulations published by the Secretary of State, which will include the requirement for training.

These provisions are in force 26 May 2015 under section 6 Deregulation Act 2015 (Commencement No.1 and Transitional Saving Provisions) Order 2015 (SI 2015/994)

For more information on apprenticeships see our law card Apprentices

Tribunal recommendations

Section 2 of the Deregulation Act amends section 124 of the Equality Act 2010 (EqA), which sets out the remedies available to tribunals where there has been a contravention of the key provisions of the EqA relating to non-discrimination at work. Currently, a tribunal can make a recommendation that the other party take steps to obviate or reduce the adverse effect of any matter to which the proceedings relate, whether on the complainant or another person (a ‘wider recommendation’). Section 2 removes the power to make a wider recommendation.

This provision is in force 1 October 2015 under section 11 Deregulation Act 2015 (Commencement No.1 and Transitional Saving Provisions) Order 2015 (SI 2015/994)

For more information on the tribunal powers to make recommendations in equality cases, see our law card Tribunal Recommendations.

Health  &  Safety  and the self-employed

Section 1 of the Deregulation Act amends section 3 of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 (HSWA) (the general duty of employers and self-employed to persons other than their employees). The amendment limits the scope of the general duty under section 3(2) HSWA so that only self-employed persons who conduct an ‘undertaking of a prescribed description’ have an obligation to conduct their undertaking in such a way as to ensure they and others who may be affected are not exposed to risks to their health and safety. The meaning of ‘prescribed’  here means prescribed by regulations made by the Secretary of State, which will define the activities that are carried out and any other feature of the undertaking.

The regulations have not been published yet.

For more information on the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 see our law card Health & Safety at Work: Key card

20/05/2015