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Government to reduce health and safety regulations

Posted: 10th October 2012   In: Commercial Property, Corporate Commercial

The Government says it will reduce health and safety regulations to promote economic growth and protect businesses from ‘compensation culture’ claims.

There are more than 6,500 regulations that the Government inherited through the Red Tape Challenge Process. They intend to scrap more than 3,000.

One of the key changes involves health and safety inspections. Businesses such as shops, offices, pubs and clubs will only face inspections if they have a track record of poor performance. Only businesses in higher risk industries such as construction will be subject to regular inspections.

Another change is that businesses will only be liable for civil damages in health and safety cases if it can be proved that they had been negligent. Currently, a business can be liable for damages even if it hadn’t been negligent.

The Government hopes the new legislation will create economic growth by freeing up time for companies to get on with their business.

The Red Tape Challenge has already resulted in a series of red tape cuts including a radical package of employment tribunal reforms, expected to deliver £40m of savings per year to employers.

The changes relating to health and safety are expected to come into effect next April.

Ministers are also trying to reduce the regulatory burden imposed by the EU.

A Government statement says: “Many of the regulations that can affect growth come from the EU – and that is why we are working with a group of like-minded governments in over half of the other EU countries to reduce the burden of European regulation, particularly for the smallest businesses.”

Please contact Jon Alvarez if you would like more information about the issues raised in this article or any matter relating to business regulation.