Clause 10

Sunbeds (Regulation) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 6:00 pm on 10th February 2010.

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Regulations: general

Question proposed, That the clause stand part of the Bill.

Photo of Julie Morgan Julie Morgan Member, Public Administration Committee, Member, Justice Committee

Clause 10 contains further provisions regarding the regulation-making powers. It was said on Second Reading that £20,000 was a stiff penalty. I reiterate that that is the maximum penalty. Often a lower amount will be charged, but I imagine that the £20,000 will act as a deterrent to those who might not adhere to the provisions.

Photo of Mark Simmonds Mark Simmonds Shadow Minister (Health)

I am grateful to the hon. Lady for highlighting that point.

I wish to make two or three quick points on this clause. First, I presume that the maximum fine of £20,000 may be for repeat offenders rather than first-time offenders. Clarification would be useful. Secondly, the power to make the regulations is exercisable by statutory instrument. Will that be by affirmative or negative resolution procedure?

Thirdly, subsection (2) states:

“Regulations under this Act may—

make different provisions for different cases or different areas”.

What on earth does that mean? It seems to include every possible option for future variance in the regulations that may apply. Some clarification on those points would be helpful.

Photo of Gillian Merron Gillian Merron Minister of State (Public Health), Department of Health

We believe that the clause is necessary in order to prevent officers of a company from hiding behind their company so as to escape prosecution. The parliamentary procedure is set out in clause 11. I hope that that helps the Committee.

Photo of Mark Simmonds Mark Simmonds Shadow Minister (Health)

While I am still on my feet, I wonder whether the Minister might find the inspiration to explain what subsection (2)(a) means—or will the hon. Member for Cardiff, North explain? Making different provisions for different cases or different areas seems a very loose catch-all provision.

Photo of Julie Morgan Julie Morgan Member, Public Administration Committee, Member, Justice Committee

I go back to the fine, the first point raised by the hon. Gentleman. The £20,000 maximum is a standard level for the magistrates court and can be found in similar legislation on health and safety and food safety. It will rarely be imposed, as a proportionate application is required.

The regulations are dealt with in clause 11, so perhaps we can look at that again when we reach that clause.

Photo of Siān James Siān James Member, Justice Committee, Member, Procedure Committee, Member, Welsh Affairs Committee

I understand that in Scotland the maximum rate is £4,000, and I welcome the fact that the maximum, I presume, for repeat offending is £20,000, because that will truly be a deterrent and remind businesses that the matter is serious and that there are serious consequences. I welcome the £20,000 maximum.

Photo of Gillian Merron Gillian Merron Minister of State (Public Health), Department of Health

I feel inspired and so perhaps can now assist the hon. Member for Boston and Skegness. The reference to different areas allows for regional  variation and variation in respect of Wales, as different cases could relate to different sorts of sunbed, for example those for sale or hire. I hope that that is helpful to him.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause 10 accordingly ordered to stand part of the Bill.