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HSE increases fee for intervention charge for firms

The hourly rate which organisations found to be in material breach of health and safety laws must pay to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) for its time has increased from £129 to £154 per hour, with effect from 6 April 2019.09 Apr 2019

HSE's fee for intervention (FFI) cost recovery scheme was designed to shift some of the costs of regulating workplace health and safety from the taxpayer to those responsible for breaches.

Health and safety law expert Natalie Walker of Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind, said: "The increase in the recovery rate by almost 20% means that non-compliance now comes with more significant repercussions for companies".

"This emphasises the importance of organisations being proactive in their approach to safety and prioritising health and safety compliance," she said.

In a statement, the HSE said that the increased rate would enable it to recover more of its costs.

"HSE must set the FFI rate with the aim of recovering its full cost and in recent years it has operated at a deficit (i.e. cost more than recovered in income)," it said. "A combination of this and cumulative inflationary pressures support the increased hourly rate."

FFI was introduced on 1 October 2012. Under the scheme, those found to be in 'material breach' of health and safety laws are liable for payment of HSE's related costs, including those incurred as a result of inspection, investigation and taking enforcement action.

HSE defines 'material breaches' as those that would require it to issue notice in writing of that breach to the business, employer, public body or other 'dutyholder'. Dutyholders who comply with the law, or where no material breach is found, are not charged FFI.