New growth duty establishes Government’s expectation that all regulators should be working towards economic growth.
The growth duty, which came into statutory effect on 29 March 2017 under the Deregulation Act 2015, requires regulators to have regard to the desirability of promoting economic growth, alongside protecting the public.
It applies to most national regulators but not local authorities or fire and rescue authorities. The growth duty statutory guidance clarifies how regulators can work in accordance with the growth duty.
The guidance will help regulators fulfil their new responsibilities, including the proper consideration before allocating resources, setting enforcement policies and making sanctioning decisions.
The regulators and regulatory functions to which the growth duty applies are specified in the Economic Growth (Regulatory Functions) Order 2017.
The Deregulation Act 2015 was extended by the Enterprise Act 2016, requiring regulators to formally report on the effect that the growth duty has on the way they exercise their regulatory functions and the impacts of this on business. However, this additional obligation is not yet in force, and BEIS will engage with regulators before it is introduced.
Minister for Small Business, Consumers and Corporate Responsibility Margot James said:
“I believe that the growth duty will encourage regulators to develop more mature and productive relationships with those sectors and businesses that they regulate, driving up the accountability of regulators to the business community.
And we are asking regulators to consider how legislation and enforcement frameworks could adapt to emerging technologies and innovative business models. Our expectation is that this will help to deliver our aspirations for greater productivity and growth in our economy.”