Live updates

Self-employed workers health and safety exemption

In a series of measures geared to breathe life into Britain's flagging economy, self-employed workers are to be made exempt from health and safety laws.

It is understood the Queen's Speech on Wednesday will include a series of bills designed to generate growth.

A deregulation bill will mean that the self-employed whose activities do not pose a risk of harm to others will no longer be subject to health and safety legislation.

It will also remove the requirement for the issuing motor insurance certificates, moving to a system where the information is held online - a move ministers estimate will save business around £33 million a year.


Michael Fallon: Deregulation will bring more jobs

New business minister Michael Fallon has said the Government is taking steps to save businesses money, and free them from the burden of unnecessary health and safety regulation. He said:

"We are talking about low risk premises, like offices and shops, where you don't need the same annual regime of council officials coming in and ticking boxes"

Cutting 'unnecessary regulation' will help small businesses

Research carried out by YouGov for Zurich shows that 70% of 'senior decision makers' from Small or Medium Size Businesses (SME's) support today's announcement to cut red tape. Richard Coleman, Director of SME at Zurich Insurance said:

While most businesses would accept there’s a vital need for regulation in areas such as health and safety, UK SMEs are clearly looking for simplification to focus on what they do best - fuelling economic growth.

The fact that SMEs tell us this concerns them more than access to finance is a clear indicator that they still feel over-burdened by red tape.

Cable to explain cuts to 'red tape' to Commons

Shadow Business Secretary Chuka has been granted the opportunity to question Business Secretary Vince Cable on his plans to 'cut back on red tape' and reduce health and safety obligations for employers.

Mr Cable will be forced to appear in the Commons at 3:30pm this afternoon.


Labour: Lack of regulation did not cause the recession

Shadow Business Secretary Chuka Umunna has hit out at the Government's plans to cut health and safety legislation requirements for businesses. He said:

"We are not in a double dip-recession because of a failure to deregulate, we are in a double dip-recession because the government's failed economic plans have pushed us into this situation."

HSE: 'We are working to make regulations clearer'

The Health and Safety Executive, the national independent watchdog for work-related health and safety, said it is already working with industry to make health and safety clearer for businesses, whilst maintaining minimum standards for workers. A spokesman said:

HSE is working to make health and safety clearer and simpler for businesses to understand and comply with, while maintaining essential protections for workers and the public. We have reduced the number of proactive inspections by a third over the last year by better targeting of those inspections on higher risk industries and poor performers.

Reducing health and safety regulations 'misleading'

Richard Jones, head of policy and public affairs at the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health hit back at the announcement that the Government was planning to cut back on "more than 3,000 regulations."

The talk of reducing around 3,000 regulations and at the same time focusing on health and safety is misleading. There are only 200 health and safety regulations in total, so any reduction in these will be a tiny percentage of the 3,000, and so far only 21 have been considered.

Load more updates