We have worked with government and industry on improving regulation and enforcement for well over 15 years.
What does good regulation look like?
Good regulation relies on completing effective impact assessments when policy is first developed. It needs specific objectives and robust analysis of what will best deliver these; e.g. information, voluntary action such as a code, guidance or a full-scale legal approach. All these options are part of the UK and EU regulatory toolkit.
Inception Impact Assessments
We campaign for better and more effective regulation in the UK. Government efforts to reduce the flow and burden of regulation have included initiatives such as 'one in two out,' regulatory budgets and red tape challenges. The EU recently introduced Inception Impact Assessments to ensure all options are considered when a problem is first identified. We are working to ensure the UK follows suit.
Government-sponsored voluntary regulation
Sometimes governments try to get businesses – especially retailers – to solve a problem by through voluntary initiatives. We have developed a set of principles (available to download from the bar on the right) to test the need for and the potential effectiveness of government-sponsored voluntary regulation. These principles have been adopted in full in Scotland and in part by the UK and EU.
Proportionate enforcement, compliance and Primary Authorities
BRC members make every effort to comply with the law. However, mistakes are sometimes made. Proportionate enforcement includes a range of options designed to ensure compliance, such as education, enforcement orders, administrative penalties and formal criminal proceedings. There is little sense in taking a reputable retailer to court if they are willing to recognise a mistake, make restitution where necessary and ensure there are internal procedures to prevent a repeat incidents. Primary Authorities provide strong support in ensuring businesses large and small have the right systems in place. The BRC is calling on the Scottish Government to adopt the Primary Authority model (along the lines that currently works in England). We would also like to see Primary Authority coverage expanded to as wide a range of issues as practical.