Legislation / Legal

CQC: The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has prosecuted the owner of the Skin Health Spa chain, for operating hair removal lasers without registration. CQC was successful in 5 separate cases against Waveriver Limited, which now faces fines & costs totalling £13,000.
 
Beauticians operating intense pulsed light (IPL) & lasers used for hair removal are legally obliged to register their services with the regulator to ensure minimum quality standards are provided and consumers are protected. Failure to register is considered a breach of section 11 of the Care Standards Act 2000.
Press release ~ Care Quality Commission (CQC)
 
HMT: The Government has introduced the Financial Services Bill to Parliament, claiming that it will ‘deliver significant reforms that will provide greater rights and information for consumers, in addition to stronger financial regulation to make banks safer and more robust in the future’.
Press release ~ HM Treasury: FSB and related documents
 
DCSF: More powers to parents & pupils; more freedoms for schools; and clearer & smarter accountability for all were key proposals put forward by Ed Balls and Vernon Coaker when they published the Children, Schools and Families Bill.  The government claims that this Bill will set out what parents & pupils can expect from the schools system.  There will be specific entitlements for parents & pupils and a means of redress if those expectations are not met.
 
Alongside these greater rights are greater responsibilities.  Parent guarantees will include strengthened Home School Agreements setting DCSF expectations on parents and making clear their responsibilities for their child’s behaviour.  The Bill will give schools stronger powers to enforce these agreements when parents do not.
Press release ~ Children, Schools and Families Bill ~ Home School Agreements ~ Progress with the National Challenge programme
 
ScotGov: A Bill to improve arbitration law has been passed by the Scottish Parliament. The Arbitration (Scotland) Bill will provide a statutory framework for arbitration to encourage greater use of arbitration domestically and, in time, attract more international arbitration to Scotland.
 
The Bill puts the majority of Scots law on arbitration into a single Bill and means that anyone in Scotland, or seeking to do business in Scotland, will have easy access to the principles & rules governing the law of arbitration in Scotland. Some of the current law on arbitration in Scotland dates back over 300 years.
Press release ~ Arbitration (Scotland) Bill ~ New York Convention on recognition & enforcement of foreign arbitral awards
 
HMRC: The Corporation Tax Bill and the Taxation (International and Other Provisions) Billhave been published. These Bills are the sixth and seventh produced by the Tax Law Rewrite project, which rewrites UK direct tax law to modernise it so that it is clearer & easier to use. 
Press release ~ Tax Law Rewrite Project (scroll down for Bills)
 
Defra: The government is claiming that communities, homes & businesses will be better protected from the risk of flooding & water shortages in future under plans published in the Flood and Water Management Bill by Defra last week.
 
The government claims that the Bill addresses many of the recommendations from Sir Michael Pitt’s review of the summer 2007 floods.  It will give the authorities that manage flood risk better powers to do so, putting local authorities in charge of dealing with local flood risk and the Environment Agency in charge of overseeing flooding & coastal erosion nationally. 
Press release ~ Flood and Water Management Bill ~ Taking forward the draft Flood and Water Management Bill: - The Government response to pre-legislative scrutiny and public consultation ~ Sir Michael Pitt’s review
 
HO: A tough new compulsory licensing scheme designed to rid England, Wales & Northern Ireland of rogue wheel clampers, has been set out in the Crime and Security Bill. Proposals within the Bill will make it mandatory for all wheel clamping businesses to be licensed under the terms of a strict code of conduct.  The code will include a cap on fines, time limits on towing cars unreasonably quickly after being clamped and set out clear instructions for putting up signs warning drivers that clamping takes place. 
 
Ministers are also looking to introduce an independent appeals process for motorists who feel unfairly penalised by firms and their employees. Any company which breaches the terms of their licence could lose their right to practise and face up to 5 years in prison, or a substantial fine.
Press release ~ Crime and Security Bill 2009-10 ~ Security Industry Authority ~ SIA's voluntary Approved Contractor Scheme ~ HO: Crime and Security Bill ~ Citizens Advice Guide ~ Parking: Wheel Clamping
 
BIS: The Digital Economy Bill, introduced last week, sets out Government plans to ensure ‘the UK is at the leading edge of the global digital economy’. Published jointly by the Department for Business and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, the Bill aims to support growth in the creative & digital sectors and includes measures aimed at tackling widespread online infringement of creative copyright, such as peer-to-peer file-sharing.
 
Other key proposals look to strengthen the UK’s communications infrastructure, such as superfast broadband, via the introduction of new Ofcom duties to encourage investment.  The Bill also puts in place measures to protect the creation of a range of engaging public service content, from multiple providers, on multiple platforms.  Specifically, it addresses the urgent need for action to secure provision of news in the nations, locally and in the regions.
Press release ~ Digital Economy Bill