Twelfth Report Contents

Instruments of interest

Draft Food (Promotion and Placement) (England) Regulations 2021

43.To tackle child obesity, this instrument would restrict the promotion of high fat, sugar and salt (HFSS) products in medium and large businesses (50 or more employees) that sell food or drink in England. It does not apply to corner shops. From 1 October 2022 foods such as cakes, chocolate, ice cream, pastries, sweet biscuits, breakfast cereals, yoghurts, pizza, ready meals, crisps, savoury snacks, and soft drinks that meet the criteria15 may no longer be promoted with “buy-one-get-one-free” or “3 for 2” offers. Nor may they be displayed at store entrances, aisle ends and checkouts. Equivalent restrictions apply to online grocery shopping (for example, these foods may not be displayed on the shopping basket or payment pages). The restrictions will also apply to free refills of sugar-sweetened drinks in restaurants, coffee shops etc.

44.We have received a submission from the Food and Drink Federation (FDF) expressing concerns about the practicalities of this instrument, in particular, about smaller manufacturers’ abilities to apply the Nutrient Profiling Score for their products. The FDF also emphasises the need for the government guidance to be developed in collaboration with the retail sector so that the scope of the legislation is absolutely clear, and makes a plea that products that have been reformulated to reduce calorie content should not be penalised in this way. The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has responded and the proposed guidance was put out for informal consultation with the industry on 9 August. The FDF’s letter and DHSC’s response are published in full on our website.16 We note the FDF’s disappointment that products that have been reformulated to reduce their calorie content are not excluded from this measure. We also support their view that these Regulations should have included a sunset clause which would require the effectiveness of this instrument to be properly evaluated.

Occupational Pension Schemes (Climate Change Governance and Reporting) (Miscellaneous Provisions and Amendments) Regulations 2021 (SI 2021/857)

45.This instrument applies some of the changes made by section 124 of the Pension Schemes Act 2021 to require trustees in scope to have knowledge and understanding of the identification, assessment and management of risks and opportunities for occupational pension schemes resulting from climate change. In the case of corporate trustees, the Regulations require the company to ensure that trustees have the appropriate knowledge and understanding of these matters or to train them accordingly.

46.From 2022 pensions schemes in scope will be required to report climate change risks in line with the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures’ (TCFD) recommendations.17 These Regulations also require information on the TCDF report, including a website address where it is published, to be included in the scheme’s annual report, benefit statements and the funding statements sent to scheme members.

47.We welcome the intention behind these new requirements but note that trustees of occupational pensions are already required to have knowledge of a large number of fiscal, financial and governance requirements. We question whether the growing number of requirements may reduce the supply of suitable candidates.

Republic of Belarus (Sanctions) (EU Exit) (Amendment) Regulations 2021 (SI 2021/922)

48.In response to the escalation of serious human rights violations in Belarus, including the forced diversion of the Ryanair flight FR4978 to Minsk on 23 May 2021 in order to arrest a journalist, these Regulations extend the existing sanctions regime against Belarus and designated individuals.18 In particular, they allow new prohibitions on technical assistance relating to aircraft, and restrictions on loans, finance and insurance, and on trade in interception and monitoring technology, petroleum products and potash. A new Part 5A is also added that confers powers on the Secretary of State, air traffic control and airport operators to make directions for the purpose of preventing certain aircraft from entering UK airspace or landing in the UK. The Regulations were brought into effect on 9 August but follow the “made affirmative” procedure which means they must be approved by Parliament to stay in force after 19 October.

15 The 2004/2005 Nutrient Profiling Model will be used to define whether a product is HFSS.

16 Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee, ‘Scrutiny evidence’ [accessed 8 September 2021].

17 TCFD, Final Report: Recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (June 2017): [accessed 8 September 2021].

18 The Belarus (EU Exit) (Sanctions) Regulations 2019 (SI 2019/600) reapplied the previous EU-wide sanctions following Brexit.

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