Seven bills received Royal Assent Thursday at parliamentary prorogation, thereby becoming law. Among these are the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill 2023, the Online Safety Bill and the Worker Protection (Amendment of Equality Act 2010) Bill.
The Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill had its first parliamentary reading on September 22, 2022. It aims to create protections for UK companies from bad actors who may commit acts of corporate crime such as fraud and money laundering. It is achieving this through several modes of reform, such as the role of the Companies House and the misuse of limited partnerships. Under the new reforms, Companies House will require all pre-existing and new company directors to verify their identities. Additionally, the bill strengthens anti-money laundering powers. The bill was predominantly introduced with haste under emergency measures following the Russian invasion of Ukraine to take measures against any Russian money that may have been illegal. The bill has been approved after various amendments between the House of Lords and the House of Commons.
The Online Safety Bill aims to create enhanced protections surrounding internet safety and freedom of expression. The bill builds upon policy found in the online harms white papers. These outline the necessary protections required through the legislation and the framework for this. Notably, the bill will “impose duties on providers in relation to the protection of users’ rights to freedom of expression and privacy.”
The Worker Protection Act 2023 strengthens workers protections previously provided under the Equality Act 2010. In particular, the bill that received Royal Assent creates a provision outlining newly imposed duties of employers concerning these workers’ protections.