Redundancy consultation period to fall to 45 days under series of Government red tape reforms

The minimum consultation period firms are required to give for large-scale redundancies is to fall this weekend under a raft of cuts to red tape that will come into force.

Under the changes, the minimum consultation required falls from 90 to 45 days, a move ministers say will give employers greater flexibility to restructure while ensuring that meaningful consultation with staff can still take place.

Other changes include simplifying the way firms use their assets to raise finance, reforms to building regulations and streamlining of health and safety requirements.

The reforms are part of the Government's Red Tape Challenge, under which around 300 regulations have now been changed or axed.

Tomorrow is the latest round in a series of announcements, which the Government said were in response to issues raised by businesses.

Simplifying the way firms use their assets to raise finance - including moving registration and payment online and introducing a UK-wide registration system - will save businesses over 21 million, the Government said.

Deregulatory changes to building regulations are part of a wider package that will save business in total over 50 million per year and reforms to reduce administration on low-risk electrical works, and clearer, more consistent guidance on requirements for access to buildings, glazing and protection from falling also come into force.

The drive to simplify health and safety requirements continues with the removal of a raft of redundant or unnecessary regulations in areas including celluloid film, shipbuilding and ship repair.

"Setting business free from the restrictions that hold back enterprise is a compulsory step on the road to growth," said Michael Fallon, the Business Minister.

"We've listened to firms and taken prompt action where regulation presents barriers - but there is a huge amount still to do.

"We will quicken the pace by launching a new phase of the Red Tape Challenge this summer, focusing on key areas for growth. And I'm keeping up the pressure across Whitehall so that government always puts business before bureaucracy."

The British Chambers of Commerce welcomed the reforms. But the BCC's director of policy, Adam Marshall, added that the number of regulation changes coming from both Brussels and Westminster is "still too high".

"Constant changes to regulation are a distraction for firms at a critical time for the UK economy - when companies should be focusing on things like breaking into new markets, building their workforce, and generating wealth," he said.

Copyright Press Association 2013