The HSE has recently announced that the ‘Fee for Intervention’ regulations will now not come into force this April and will most likely now be introduced in October 2012. So why the delay and what does it mean for your business and the HSE?
We understand the trial running of the scheme across the UK has been said to have:
- Operated well;
- Been given positive feedback by the businesses involved;
- Acted as an incentive for businesses to put things right;
- Has shown costs often would not be as high as the business had first thought they might be.
The delay appears to be partly down to not getting the draft regulation ready in time for Parliament. Another unresolved issue appears to be around whether the regulation represents a fine or an indirect tax on businesses, because the matter of where the money goes is still not clear.
Given that the HSE has lost funding we wonder what impact a delay in the fee recovery scheme might have on future HSE resources. We have heard the HSE has already lost some inspectors because of the schemes proposal; and that these inspectors have not been replaced due to the Civil Service recruitment freeze.
So what about your business? This delay is only temporary because the HSE trials have shown the scheme could work well so we suggest you prepare for October. It really is far more beneficial to your business to put plans in place to bring health and safety up to date because do you really want to wait for an inspector to point out any failings? Remember the HSE will charge at £124 per hour and that October is really not that far away.