Self-Employed Exemption Consultation Taking Place

Consultation is taking place regarding proposed plans to make self-employed people exempt from certain health and safety regulations. The idea is to reduce health and safety red tape that unnecessarily hinders the self-employed.

Section 3 of the Health and Safety At Work Act 1974 states:

“It shall be the duty of every employer to conduct his undertaking in such a way as to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that persons not in his employment who may be affected thereby are not thereby exposed to risks to their health or safety”.

The proposals are intended to exempt self-employed people from this requirement unless they are carrying out specific higher risk activities from a prescribed list. The contents of the prescribed list are a key part of the consultation but will likely include industries such as agriculture, which have high injury and fatality rates, as well as work activities which could place high numbers of the public at risk (such as fairground attractions).