Consumer Rights Bill Guidance Testing: Autumn 2014

Closed 7 Dec 2014

Opened 7 Nov 2014

Results expected 31 Jan 2015


The Consumer Rights Bill is a major reform of UK consumer law. If you a business selling to consumers, a consumer or an enforcer of consumer law it will impact on you. This exercise is testing guidance on parts of the Bill, but you can also learn about all of the Bill online.


The majority of the Bill is likely to enter into force in October 2015. The government is committed to having guidance in place well in advance of that date, to ensure businesses, consumers and enforcers are clear as to what the law means, that they know what is changing and what they need to do.

That guidance is being produced now and three guidance documents are now ready for testing with key audiences. This consultation asks for your views on them, and you can give views on one, two or all of them. The three documents we are testing now are:

  1. A guidance document setting out what will change for Unfair Terms law once the Bill is in-force (known as "What's New"). Our plan is to test and publish detailed guidance in May 2015, the document we are testing now will however be published in January and gives a summary of what the major changes to the law will be when the Bill comes into force. This guidance is aimed at businesses. Unfair Terms is Part 2 of the Consumer Rights Bill.
  2. Guidance on Investigatory Powers. The Bill streamlines the existing investigatory powers that consumer law enforcers, such as Trading Standards Officers, use to investigate potential breaches, and sets them out into a generic set. This guidance is principally aimed at businesses, but enforcers may also find it useful. The Investigatory Powers are detailed in Schedule 5 of the Bill.
  3. Guidance on the Enhanced Consumer Measures which will give enforcers greater flexibility to get better outcomes for consumers. This guidance is aimed at enforcers but business will also find it useful to see where responsibilities lie when the measures are being used. Enhanced Consumer Measures is Schedule 7 of the Bill.


You can see the policy documents and the Bill which these guidance documents are based on here.

Please note, the Bill itself has not yet completed all its Parliamentary stages, therefore these documents are based on the Bill as it stands now (October 2014). Should the Bill change, these documents are also likely to change.

You can follow the passage of the Bill through Parliament on and by following @lauraharbidge on Twitter.


Why your views matter

We want businesses, consumers and enforcers to be clear what the Bill means for them. We therefore want to test the draft guidance documents to ensure they are as useful as possible.

We are consulting now to ensure we have enough time to incorporate your comments before publishing guidance well in advance of the Bill entering into force.

What happens next

These documents will be finalized in January 2015.

Guidance covering the other parts of the Bill will follow shortly.

You can follow the passage of the Bill through Parliament on and by following @lauraharbidge


  • SMEs (small and medium businesses)
  • Large businesses (over 250 staff)
  • Multinational businesses
  • Trade bodies
  • Legal representative
  • Medium business (50 to 250 staff)
  • Micro business (up to 9 staff)
  • Small business (10 to 49 staff)
  • Consumer organisations
  • Consumer law specialists
  • Universities
  • Students
  • Consumers
  • Local government
  • Central government


  • Consumer rights