Twentieth Report Contents

Instruments of interest

Draft Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018

34.The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has laid these draft Regulations with an Explanatory Memorandum (EM) and Impact Assessment. Defra explains that the Animal Welfare Act 2006 (“the 2006 Act”) brought together and updated existing legislation to promote the welfare of vertebrate animals, other than those in the wild; and that the 2006 Act conferred powers on the Secretary of State to introduce secondary legislation to promote the welfare of vertebrate animals in England. The draft Regulations propose an updated licensing system in England for five activities involving animals: selling animals as pets; providing for or arranging for the provision of boarding for cats or dogs; hiring out horses; dog breeding; and keeping or training animals for exhibition. In the EM, Defra states that the Regulations fulfil an undertaking given by the Government to Parliament in 20067 to introduce secondary legislation under the 2006 Act to update the registration and licensing systems for these activities, in line with modern animal welfare standards; this is the first time since 2012 that the Secretary of State has used these powers.8 A consultation on the review of animal establishments licensing in England ran for 12 weeks between December 2015 and March 2016: leaving aside some 323 standard campaigning responses, 1,386 responses were received, and a large majority supported updating the licensing system.9 We commend Defra on a well-judged and informative EM.

Draft Employment Rights Act 1996 (Itemised Pay Statement) (Amendment) Order 2018

Employment Rights Act 1996 (Itemised Pay Statement) (Amendment) Order 2018 (SI 2018/147)

35.The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has laid these two instruments, each with an Explanatory Memorandum and Impact Assessment. BEIS says that the draft Order proposes to extend the right to receive an itemised pay statement (or “payslip”) to all workers, not just “employees”, in order to assist such workers in determining whether they have been paid correctly. The Department adds that this corrects the current situation whereby those at work classified as “employees” have a statutory entitlement to receive a payslip, while those classified as “workers” who are not employees do not.

36.BEIS explains that SI 2018/147 increases transparency over whether employees are paid correctly and seeks to address underpayment, including underpayment of the National Minimum Wage and contractual underpayment, where the amount paid is less than that agreed in an employee’s contract. SI 2018/147 requires employers to provide additional information about the number of hours that are being paid for within the itemised pay statement of “time paid” employees (that is, those employees for whom pay varies by reference to hours worked). The aim is to help employees identify, when reading a payslip, whether the number of hours for which their employer has paid them matches their own understanding of the number of hours they have worked in the same period.

37.BEIS says that both instruments support the recommendations made by the report “Good work: the Taylor review of modern working practices”,10 which was submitted to the Government in July 2017 and contained a series of recommendations for improving employee and worker rights in UK labour law. The instruments support recommendations made about increasing transparency over employment rights, in order to help ensure their enforcement.

Draft Police Powers of Designated Civilian Staff and Volunteers (Excluded Powers and Duties of Constables) Regulations 2018

38.Part 1 of Schedule 3B of the Police Reform Act 2002 lists powers that are reserved solely for use by constables, and cannot be used by civilians employed by police forces, or police volunteers, and designated with police powers under section 38 of that Act. These Regulations add to that list the power to conduct an intimate search under section 55(6) of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984, where an officer of at least the rank of Inspector considers it not practicable for a suitably qualified person to conduct such a search. The Home Office states that there have only been three searches by staff rather than constables nationally over the last 15 years, this is, however, a very intrusive power and these Regulations fulfil a commitment by Ministers to restrict its use.

Convention on Road Traffic (Cm 9750)

39.The 1968 United Nations Convention on Road Traffic contains provisions on the rules which apply to motor vehicles, trailers, mopeds and cycles in international traffic. The UK signed the Convention on 8 November 1968, and already largely conforms to its provisions through the Road Traffic Act 1988 and the Highway Code. The Government have, however, now decided to ratify it fully for reasons of uniformity and to facilitate international traffic after the UK leaves the European Union. To implement it some changes will be required, in particular the provision of a new system for issuing 1968 Convention compliant International Driving Permits and a registration system for trailers travelling overseas, both of which are being introduced by the Haulage Permits and Trailers Bill currently before the House.

Town and Country Planning General (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2018 (SI 2018/99)

40.Under Regulations dating from 1992,11 local planning authorities (LPAs) are able to determine their own development proposals on land in which they have an interest. However, the 1992 Regulations provide that, where an LPA grants permission for its own development, the resulting permission is “personal” to the LPA and cannot be implemented by a future owner to whom the LPA may dispose of the land.12 This means that a developer purchasing land from a county or district council, and wishing to undertake the same development, would need to re-apply for planning permission.

41.In the Explanatory Memorandum to SI 2018/99, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) says that a proposal was included in the Housing White Paper “Fixing our broken housing market” for all local authorities to have the power to dispose of land they have an interest in with any planning permission they have granted themselves. In February 2018, the Government published a summary of responses to this proposal:13 529 respondents supported it, while 162 were opposed (21 were neutral). MHCLG has told us that support came from a cross-section of respondents. The vast majority of local authority and developer respondents expressed support: 185 of 201 local authority respondents, and 56 of 64 developer respondents.

42.We obtained additional information about the Regulations from the MHCLG, in particular about the risk that local authorities could “game the system”, and we are publishing that information at Appendix 2.

Elections (Policy Development Grants Scheme) (Amendment) Order 2018(SI 2018/127)

43.Policy development grants are awarded to help parties develop policies to include in their manifestos for elections. Parties are eligible for a grant if they have two Members of the House of Commons who have taken the oath of allegiance. The administration of the scheme is set out in the Elections (Policy Development Grants Scheme) Order 2006. In line with a recommendation from the Electoral Commission, this instrument removes references to the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) and Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) from the Scheme, as, after the last election, they no longer meet the eligibility criteria.

Reduction and Prevention of Agricultural Diffuse Pollution (England) Regulations 2018 (SI 2018/151)

44.The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has laid these Regulations with an Explanatory Memorandum (EM) and Impact Assessment. The Regulations set out provisions to reduce and prevent pollution of inland freshwaters and coastal waters and springs, wells and boreholes from farming activities on agricultural land in England. In the EM, Defra says that agriculture and rural land management are the greatest source of water pollution in England; the pollutants of most concern include nitrogen and phosphorus (nutrients), sediment, pesticides and faecal organisms (from animal excreta); farming accounts for 25% phosphate, 50% nitrate and 75% sediment loadings in the water environment. The estimated damage from this pollution ranges from £750 million to £1.3 billion each year, affecting many sectors in society including water users, water companies, tourism and shellfisheries. Defra says that the Regulations complement regimes established by statutory instruments from 2015 and 2010, and also form part of the implementation of the EU Water Framework Directive. We obtained additional information from Defra about the timescales involved, published as Appendix 3. We note that, while consultation began in 2014, it has taken four years to finalise the measures now contained in these Regulations, a gestation period which, in our view, is unexpectedly protracted.


7 HC Deb, 10 January 2006, cols 168-169.

8 The powers were previously used to introduce the Welfare of Racing Greyhounds Regulations 2010 (SI 2010/543) and the Welfare of Wild Animals in Travelling Circuses (England) Regulations 2012 (SI 2012/2932)

9 A Government response has been published at: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/animal-welfare-reviewing-animal-establishments-licensing-in-england [accessed 27 February 2018]

10 See BEIS, Good work: the Taylor review of modern working practices, July 2017: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/good-work-the-taylor-review-of-modern-working-practices [accessed 27 February 2018]

11 Town and Country Planning General Regulations 1992 (SI 1992/1492).

12 This restriction does not apply to unitary authorities (including London Boroughs) and Urban Development Corporations, which can dispose of land to developers with the benefit of planning permission.

13 See MHCLG, Local authority development – effect of planning permission: Government response, February 2018: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/678919/Disposal_of_LA_land_with_permission_govt_response.pdf [accessed 27 February 2018]




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