The Deregulation Act 2015 has been published and aims to remove or reduce the legislative burden on businesses, civil society, individuals, public sector bodies and the taxpayer.
In doing so, it amends several Acts and Statutory Instruments in relation to many different areas. With regard to the environment and health and safety, the main amendments contained in the Act:
- ensure that only self-employed people who carry out an undertaking prescribed in regulations need to make sure that themselves and non-employees are not exposed to health or safety risks;
- extend an exemption relating to turban-wearing Sikhs so that those people do not have to wear safety helmets in any workplace, with some exceptions;
- require the lists of authorised fireplaces and authorised fuels to be published on a website by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), rather than being published in regulations;
- reduce duties relating to energy and climate change which were contained in the Climate Change and Sustainable Energy Act 2006;
- create a civil offence, resulting in a possible fixed monetary penalty, relating to the incorrect presentation of waste for collection by a waste collection authority;
- remove the power to create joint waste authorities in England;
- alter the Poisons Act 1972 in a major way, including abolishing the Poisons Board, adding new definitions, creating a new category of “reportable substances”, adding new offences and specifying explosive precursors and the poisons covered by the Act;
- remove the power to create noise abatement zones in England and Wales.
More details of these amendments can be found in our summary of the Deregulation Act 2015.