The Consumer Rights Bill, the most wide ranging reform of consumer law in decades, has been laid before Parliament. The Bill consolidates the majority of UK consumer law relating to the sale of goods, supply of services and unfair contract terms. It also includes specific, new provisions for the supply of digital content.
The Bill will increase the rights of consumers, but the Government's intention is that the simplification of the legal framework will lead to savings for businesses in the long term. In the short term, businesses will need to review their Terms and Conditions to ensure that they are compliant with the new regime. The old regime will still apply largely to business to business contracts.
The Bill was published in June 2013 for pre-legislative scrutiny, with the BIS Select Committee publishing a report before Christmas containing recommended amendments. A revised version of the Bill was introduced to Parliament on 23 January 2014 with its second reading on 28 January. The Bill is unlikely to be in force earlier than 2015.