Shops, offices, pubs and clubs will no longer face health and safety inspections if they are deemed ‘low risk’, and over 3,000 regulations will be scrapped or overhauled in a plan by the Government to curb red tape and boost British business growth.
From April 2013, the Government intends to introduce binding new rules on both the Health & Safety Executive and on local authorities, to exempt hundreds of thousands of businesses from “burdensome, regular health & safety inspections”. In future, businesses will only face health and safety inspections if they are operating in higher risk areas such as construction, or if they have an incident or a track record of poor performance.
In addition, the Government will introduce legislation next month to ensure that businesses will only be held liable for civil damages in health and safety cases if they can be shown to have acted negligently. This will end the current situation where businesses can automatically be liable for damages even if they were not actually negligent.
The Government is also systematically examining some 6,500 substantive regulations that it inherited through the Red Tape Challenge process. The Government is now committing to abolish or substantially reduce at least 3,000 of these regulations and it will complete the identification of the regulations to be scrapped or overhauled by December 2013. It is hoped that it will save British companies millions of pounds in wasted time and money, and help spur economic growth and innovation across the UK.
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 £40 million of savings per year to employers.
Business Secretary Vince Cable said, "In these tough times, businesses need to focus all their energies on creating jobs and growth, not being tied up in unnecessary red tape. I've listened to those concerns and we're determined to put common sense back into areas like health and safety, which will reduce costs and fear of burdensome inspections."
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