What is secondary legislation?

Secondary - or delegated - legislation allows the Government to change the law using the powers conferred in Acts. This means that the Government can make changes to the law without having to pass a new Act of Parliament. Acts contain provisions allowing secondary legislation to alter the law. As many Acts set out a broad framework, with the complexities being added by secondary legislation, this could be provision for more detail. For example, the Children and Families Act 2014 allowed the Secretary of State to make regulations entitling employees who satisfy certain conditions to shared parental leave. It could also be provision for a technical change, such as an increase in the amounts payable under employment legislation.

Statutory instruments are the most common form of secondary legislation.