By Claire West

The Deregulation Bill has been published, with the aim of freeing UK businesses from red tape and making life easier for ordinary Britons.

Ken Clarke, Minister without Portfolio, and Oliver Letwin, Minister for Government Policy, has published the draft Deregulation Bill, which will free thousands of businesses from red tape and make life easier for individuals and civil society. The draft bill will now be scrutinised by a joint committee of MPs and peers, and legislation will be brought forward when parliamentary time allows.

The draft Deregulation Bill is the latest step in the government’s ongoing drive to remove unnecessary bureaucracy that costs British businesses millions, slows down public services like schools and hospitals and hinders millions of individuals in their daily lives.

The government’s Red Tape Challenge has already brought in reforms that have saved business over £212 million a year, not all of which needed legislation passed by Parliament to achieve. A significant number of further measures will be implemented by the end of 2013, including an overhaul of employment tribunals to save business around £40 million per year. Overall, ministers have already decided that over 1,900 substantive regulations will be scrapped or reduced. The Chancellor announced in the Budget that a second phase of the Red Tape Challenge will start in summer 2013.

How will the deregulation bill remove unnecessary burdens from businesses?

The Bill frees businesses from red tape by:

•scrapping health & safety rules for self-employed workers in low risk occupations, formally exempting 800,000 people from health and safety regulation and saving business an estimated £300,000 a year

•putting a deregulatory ‘growth duty’ on non-economic regulators, bringing the huge resource of 50 regulators with a budget of £4 billion to bear on the crucial task of promoting growth and stopping pointless red tape

•making the system of apprenticeships more flexible and responsive to the needs of employers and the economy, as recommended by the Richard Review. The Bill will remove a lot of prescriptive detail in the current legislation and clarify the employment status of apprentices. An implementation plan for apprenticeship reform will be published in September.

•removing employment tribunal judges’ power to issue wide recommendations to businesses brought before them