Safety, Health and Environment Matters - Autumn/Winter 2015

Health, Safety and Environmental Matters Series

Safety, Health and Environment Matters

Welcome to the Autumn/Winter 2015 edition of our SHE Matters, designed to keep you up to date with the latest topical issues surrounding safety, health and environment regulations.

In this issue, we focus on the Medium Combustion Plant Directive, the Consumer Rights Act 2015, the swingeing fines for large organisations, the business implications of the Commission's new circular economy strategy, slavery in the supply chain and more.

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  • The Medium Combustion Plant Directive
    9 DEC 2015

    Ambitious new emission limits are to be introduced for medium combustion plants such as electricity generators and heating systems via the Medium Combustion Plant Directive (the Directive).

    This Directive has been fast tracked through the European legislative procedure via an informal mechanism known as the "early agreement" procedure where a common position is reached between representatives of the European Parliament and the European Council. This effectively allows an agreed document to be presented to both the Parliament and the Council in order to speed up the approval process and is a demonstration of the political will within Europe to introduce the new regime.

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  • The Consumer Rights Act 2015
    9 DEC 2015

    This year has seen the advent of a key new piece of legislation, which has boosted the statutory rights of consumers in the UK. The Consumer Rights Act 2015 (Act), the main provisions of which entered into force on 1 October 2015, clarifies and consolidates the existing law on consumer rights into a single piece of legislation.

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  • Swingeing fines for large organisations: Can they be avoided?
    9 DEC 2015

    In early June, the Court of Appeal handed down judgment in an appeal against sentence brought by Thames Water Utilities Ltd.

    The company had been fined £250,000 after pleading guilty to a breach of the Environmental Permitting Regulations resulting from the discharge of untreated sewage into a brook flowing into a nature reserve in an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The sewage had polluted a rare alder carr (waterlogged wooded land), and an artificial newt pond, killing invertebrates in watercourses for up to 600 metres.

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  • Business implications of the Commission's new Circular Economy Strategy
    9 DEC 2015

    Towards the end of 2015, the European Commission is due to publish its new, 'more ambitious' Circular Economy Strategy. The Strategy will develop proposals outlined in July 2014 which were controversially withdrawn at the beginning of this year. The 2014 proposals were criticised for being primarily focused on waste management, whilst failing to fully address or explore interactions with other potential measures, such as product policies or developing the market for recycled products.

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  • Slavery in the supply chain: new corporate reporting obligations for companies
    9 DEC 2015
    Health, Safety and Environmental Matters Series

    The UK's Modern Slavery Act 2015 is in force, imposing on companies new reporting requirements and new enforcement powers, including the creation of an Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner.

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  • SHE Matters - In brief
    9 DEC 2015

    Two pieces of legislation have been proposed which do not have any very clear effect: Deregulation Act 2015 and Social Action, Responsibility & Heroism Act 2015.

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