Health and Safety Legislation Post Brexit

Health and Safety Legislation Post Brexit

16th January 2017

Most of us here in the UK are probably fed up with hearing the news about Brexit which came as a shock t so many of us and has left us all wondering about the future ever since the vote back in June of last year.  We still have no clear information on what Brexit will be like and the government keeps promising statements and more information but, so far, anything of any use has been slow in coming.  This has led to the TUC requesting that Prime Minister, Theresa May, make it clear to business owners here in the UK that “any watering down of workers’ rights following Brexit is off the table” after it was revealed that business leaders have been requesting that a list of workers’ rights be abolished when Britain finally leaves the EU. 

A letter calling for a serious review of safety laws has revealed that some bosses who campaigned to leave the European Union saw this as an opportunity to scrap some of the workers’ rights that have been hard won in the past.  One letter to the government in particular included an annexed attachments that claimed that membership of the EU had damaged UK based businesses and their staff, particularly in the cases of SMEs who account for more than 60% of employment in Britain.  Regulations that the attachments want scrapped include:

·       The Working Time Directive (WTD) and the European Court of Justice’s (ECJ) rulings on the WTD.

·       Health and Safety Regulations

·       Employment law

·       Construction Products Regulations (CPR) which is the CE Mark, a subject we have covered several times in the past.

There have been some astonishing claims that when the Construction Design and Management Regulations (CDM) came into force a huge mountain of paperwork resulted from this and that the accident rate here in the UK went up.  This, it is suggested, led to an increase in the administrative personnel necessary to deal with “all the boxes that had to be ticked out of this regulation” with more compliance required when the EU “six pack” was introduced in the mid-nineties.

Frances O’Grady, General Secretary of the Trades Union Congress (TUC) has stated that although the Leave campaign promised people more control over their lives, some bosses and business owners are now trying to use Brexit as an excuse to “walk all over working people”.  As she correctly says, nobody voting to leave the EU did so in the hope that they would lose significant protection over issues like safe working hours and holiday pay.  We were promised that if we did vote to leave the EU, working people here in the UK would still enjoy all the rights and protections that we have become used to. 

We’re sure to be getting more news of exactly how the Brexit will be administered and carried out so here at Safety Fabrications we’ll be keeping a close eye on any developments – after all, health and safety is our business.  WE manufacture safe access equipment designed to help protect workers here in the UK and we’re proud to display the CE Mark on all of our products.  Watch this space for more news in the coming weeks.