As part of the latest Budget, the Government has announced a wave of reforms intended to cut bureaucracy and improve economic growth. Firstly, there is a proposal to amalgamate income tax and national insurance. It is also proposed to reduce corporate tax in order to encourage businesses to set up in the UK.

The right to request time off to train, which was expected to be expanded, will now be restricted to employees of firms employing more than 250 people. Further protection for small employers is found in the proposal to protect small businesses (defined as those with less than 10 employers) from any new domestic regulation for 3 years. This means that, for example, future changes in the area of shared parental leave and rights to flexible working, would not benefit employees of small businesses.

Health and safety rules are also to be reviewed and it was announced that the report prepared by Lord Young entitled ‘Common Sense, Common Safety’ will be implemented. This report recommended various changes including an extension of the time to report accidents or injuries in the workplace to seven days and a consolidation of health and safety regulations.

The Government also announced a plan to simplify the state pension, although the detail of reform is currently unclear. These changes are part of the wider review of regulation which includes a public consultation on thousands of statutory instruments, with only those which the Government can prove are necessary being allowed to remain. In the future all new regulations may include a 5 year review process by which regulations will be regularly measured for effectiveness