Prime Minister Tony Blair announced this week that government departments should give businesses a 12-week response period to consultation exercises.
The recommendation for consultation periods and response times is part of a report, Helping Small Firms Cope with Regulation - Exemptions and Other Approaches, which was published in April.
Lord Haskins, chairman of the Better Regulation Task Force, said, "Businesses need time to comment on proposals and then help to comply with new regulations. These 12-week periods will help business greatly.
"There may be times when departments have to reduce the consultation or compliance periods. However, I hope that such occurrences will be kept to an absolute minimum. If departments flout the 12-week rules too often, businesses will have to ask why."
Other measured announced yesterday by the prime minister after his meeting with Lord Haskins include reducing and simplifying current regulations, a code of practice on written consultations and the streamlining of employment tribunals.
By Paul Nelson