Outside construction of the RPC building.

Government inquiries and consultations

10 February 2020

 

Parliament committees and inquires

Body

Summary / brief update

Low Pay Commission

Low Pay Commission consultation 2019

For the NLW, we are seeking evidence in order to advise on the viability of the stated target - 60 per cent of median earnings by 2020. The NLW has been introduced by the Government to raise pay and productivity, and - unlike for the other minimum wage rates - there is some tolerance of job loss. We are particularly interested in:

  • Views on the affordability and effects of an increase to the ‘on target’ rate for April 2020 – currently around £8.67.
  • Evidence of the impact of increases in the NLW since its introduction – including the April 2019 uprating – on workers, employers, the labour market and the economy.
  • Evidence of how employers are seeking to improve productivity.
  • Evidence on how the economic outlook is affected by the process of leaving the European Union.

For the other rates – affecting workers under 25 and apprentices – we are seeking evidence to make recommendations on our traditional basis of ‘helping raise the pay for as many low-paid workers as possible without damaging their employment prospects’.

The consultation has closed as of 7 June 2019

Department of Health and Social Care

Further advertising restrictions for products high in fat, salt and sugar

Our aim is to gather views on how the government can reduce children’s exposure to HFSS advertising, to reduce children’s overconsumption of these products.

We want any future advertising restrictions to be focused on HFSS products that are linked to childhood obesity. We also want to encourage brands to make their products healthier.

The consultation has closed as of 10 June 2019

Home Office

Violence and abuse toward shop staff: call for evidence

We are seeking the views of organisations and individuals who wish to contribute to our understanding of the problem of violence and abuse toward shop staff in England and Wales.

The consultation has closed as of 28 June 2019

Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport

Online Harms White Paper

The White Paper proposes establishing in law a new duty of care towards users, which will be overseen by an independent regulator. Companies will be held to account for tackling a comprehensive set of online harms, ranging from illegal activity and content to behaviours which are harmful but not necessarily illegal.

This consultation aims to gather views on various aspects of the government’s plans for regulation and tackling online harms, including:

  • the online services in scope of the regulatory framework;
  • options for appointing an independent regulatory body to implement, oversee and enforce the new regulatory framework;
  • the enforcement powers of an independent regulatory body;
  • potential redress mechanisms for online users; and
  • measures to ensure regulation is targeted and proportionate for industry.

The consultation has closed as of 1 July 2019

Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy

 

Corporate transparency and register reform

The consultation will look at new proposals to enhance the role of Companies House, increase the transparency of UK corporate entities and help combat economic crime. Consideration will be given to reform to the information we require companies to disclose, increasing the checks on this information and measures to improve the exchange of intelligence between Companies House and UK Law Enforcement bodies.

The consultation has closed as of 5 August 2019

Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy

Smart data: putting consumers in control of their data and enabling innovation

Following a green paper in 2018, the consultation is looking at how to better utilise Smart Data to support better consumer outcomes across consumer markets. This includes:

  • enabling data driven innovation in consumer markets
  • using data and technology to help vulnerable consumers
  • ensuring consumers and their data are protected

The consultation has closed as of  6 August 2019

HM Revenue & Customs

Draft legislation: Employment Allowance eligibility reforms

The technical consultation seeks views on the draft regulations and related documents that will reform the eligibility rules for the Employment Allowance by targeting it at smaller businesses.

The consultation has closed as of 20 August 2019

Department of Health and Social Care

Adding folic acid to flour

The consultation is seeking businesses' views on our proposal to make it mandatory for flour millers to add folic acid to flour (a process known as ‘fortification’).

The consultation has closed as of 9 September 2019

Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy

Groceries Code Adjudicator: statutory review, 2016 to 2019

The consultation is seeking views and evidence which will allow the government to assess the performance of the Groceries Code Adjudicator (GCA) against the measures set out in the Groceries Code Adjudicator Act 2013.

Consultation ran until 12 September 2019 – Feedback is currently being analysed.

Home Office

Transparency in supply chains

The consultation is gathering views on the proposed changes to the Modern Slavery Act 2015, following the independent review of the Modern Slavery Act.

The UK government has committed to strengthening section 54 (transparency in supply chains requirements) of the Modern Slavery Act, and is proposing measures intended to:

  • Increase transparency and compliance
  • Improve reporting quality
  • Extend the scope of the legislation.

Consultation ran until 17 September 2019 – Feedback is currently being analysed.

Government Equalities Office

Consultation on Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

The consultation aims to gather evidence about whether the current laws on protecting people from sexual harassment in the workplace are effective.

The consultation wants to understand people’s experiences, and focus on the following set of issues:

  • How best to make sure employers take all the steps they can to prevent harassment from happening
  • Strengthening and clarifying the law so it’s clear employers should protect their staff from being harassed by clients, customers, or other people from outside their organisation
  • Whether interns and volunteers are adequately protected by current laws and
  • Whether people should be given longer to take a harassment, discrimination or victimisation claim to an Employment Tribunal

Consultation ran until 2 October 2019 – Feedback is currently being analysed.

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

Good work plan: establishing a new single enforcement body for employment rights

The consultation is seeking views on options for establishing a single enforcement body to improve the enforcement of employment rights for workers and businesses, and whether establishing a new single enforcement body for employment rights could:

  • improve enforcement for vulnerable workers
  • create a level playing field for the majority of businesses who are complying with the law

Consultation ran until 6 October 2019 – Feedback is currently being analysed.

Low Pay Commission

Good Work Plan: one-sided flexibility - addressing unfair flexible working practices

The consultation is seeking views on the proposals made by the Low Pay Commission, to address the issue of ‘one-sided flexibility’.

In particular it is seeking views on:

  • providing a right to reasonable notice of working hours
  • providing workers with compensation for shifts cancelled without reasonable notice

It also seeks views on what guidance government can provide to support employers and encourage best practice to be shared across industries.

Consultation ran until 11 October 2019 – Feedback is currently being analysed.

Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs

Single use plastic: banning the distribution and/or sale of plastic straws, stirrers and plastic-stemmed cotton buds in England

The government wanted to know what you think about banning the distribution and/or sale of plastic straws, drink stirrers and plastic-stemmed cotton buds in England. These single use plastics are associated with negative effects on the environment if they are littered or discarded incorrectly after their use. Not only do they damage terrestrial and marine life, there are costs associated with their clean-up and consequences for the tourism and fishing industries.

The inquiry has been concluded, the reports and government response have been published

Home Affairs Committee

Modern slavery inquiry

The Home Affairs Committee has agreed to undertake an inquiry looking at what progress has been made in the three years since the Modern Slavery Act came into force and what more remains to be done.

Due to the general election on 12 December 2019 the Committee has now closed this inquiry. Following the dissolution of Parliament on 6 November, all Select Committees will cease to exist until after the general election

Work and Pensions Committee

Pension costs and transparency inquiry

The Committee’s recently completed inquiry into Pension freedom and choice examined ways to ensure that people saving for their pensions are equipped to make well-informed choices, and are well served by the pensions marketplace.

The inquiry has been concluded

Environmental Audit Committee

Sustainability of the fashion industry inquiry

Examines carbon, resource use and water footprint of clothing throughout its lifecycle.

The inquiry has been concluded, the reports and government response have been published

Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee

Automation and the Future of Work inquiry

BEIS Committee hold inquiry into automation and the future of work, looking at its likely impact on UK businesses and the potential it has for productivity, growth and reindustrialisation.

Due to the general election on 12 December 2019 the Committee has now closed this inquiry. Following the dissolution of Parliament on 6 November, all Select Committees will cease to exist until after the general election.

Science and Technology Committee (Commons)

Commercial and recreational drone use in the UK inquiry

This inquiry will look at the ethical and safety implications of the growing use of civilian drones, of all sizes, across the UK.

The inquiry has been concluded, the reports have been published. Awaiting government response.

Public Accounts Committee

Consumer protection inquiry

The Public Accounts Committee will question the Chief Executives of the four main regulators on the work they are doing to protect consumers. They will also investigate how regulators define the overall outcomes they want for consumers, as well as the action they take to assess their own performance.

The inquiry has been concluded, the reports and government response have been published. 

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee

Brand Britain: Promoting and Marketing British food and drink inquiry

The  inquiry will focus on the current success of the Food is GREAT campaign, how the UK Government is working with industry partners to help build global recognition of UK excellence in food and drink, and identifying and opening new markets to UK products.

The inquiry has been concluded, thereport has been published and are now awaiting government response

Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee

Corporate governance: delivering on fair pay inquiry

The Committee is conducting a short inquiry into aspects of pay in the private sector.

The Committee will investigate:

  • To examine the compliance by business with reporting requirements on the gender pay gap and to consider what steps they are taking to address the gap;
  • To consider the implementation of the recommendations on executive pay by the previous Committee in its 2017 report on Corporate Governance and recent developments on executive pay;
  • To examine the effectiveness of Remuneration Committees and institutional investors in combatting excessive executive pay

The inquiry has been concluded, gender pay gap report and Government response published.

Treasury Committee

VAT inquiry

The Treasury Committee will be investigating the following areas:

  • VAT and the tax gap
  • VAT and Brexit
  • VAT and business
  • VAT and good tax policy

Due to the general election on 12 December 2019 the Committee has now closed this inquiry. Following the dissolution of Parliament on 6 November, all Select Committees will cease to exist until after the general election.

Women and Equalities Committee

The use of non-disclosure agreements in discrimination cases inquiry

The Committee launches an inquiry to look at the wider use of NDAs in cases where any form of harassment or other discrimination is alleged. 

This might include, for example:

  • pregnancy or maternity discrimination; or 
  • racist abuse.

The inquiry has been concluded, the reports and Government Response have been published 

Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs Committee

Plastic food and drink packaging inquiry

The Committee is launching an inquiry into plastic food and drink packaging.

Due to the general election on 12 December 2019 the Committee has now closed this inquiry. Following the dissolution of Parliament on 6 November, all Select Committees will cease to exist until after the general election.

Treasury Committee

The impact of Business Rates on business inquiry

The inquiry into Business Rates will scrutinise how Government policy has impacted business. The Committee will examine how Business Rates policy has changed, including Business Rates retention, alternatives to property-based taxes, such as the proposed digital services tax, and how changes to Business Rates could impact businesses.

Due to the general election on 12 December 2019 the Committee has now closed this inquiry. Following the dissolution of Parliament on 6 November, all Select Committees will cease to exist until after the general election.

 
Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee

Work of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy inquiry

The Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee will examine the Government's new Industrial Strategy, the impact of Brexit and the gig economy.

The inquiry has concluded, and an oral evidence session has been announced.