Cable to cut back red tape
Shops, offices, pubs and clubs will no longer face burdensome health and safety inspections and over 3,000 regulations will be scrapped or overhauled under moves announced by Business Secretary Vince Cable .
From April 2013, the Government intends to introduce binding new rules on both the Health & Safety Executive and on local authorities that will exempt hundreds of thousands of businesses from burdensome health & safety inspections.
In future, businesses will only be inspected if they are operating in high risk areas, such as construction, or if they have a poor record.
The Government will also change the law next month so companies will only be liable for civil damages in health and safety cases if they can be shown to have acted negligently.
This will end the current situation where businesses can automatically be liable for damages even if they were not actually negligent.
Business Secretary Vince Cable said: "Removing unnecessary red tape and putting common sense back into areas like health and safety will reduce fears and costs for businesses. We want to help give British business the confidence it needs to create more jobs and support the wider economy to grow."
Business Minister Michael Fallon added: "Cutting red tape shows the Government is serious about helping businesses to flourish. We're getting out of the way by bringing common sense back to health and safety.
"And we will be holding departments’ feet to the fire to ensure all unnecessary red tape is cut, and we can boost the jobs and growth that our economy needs."
The move has been welcomed by the National Federation of Retail Newsagents. Responding to the announcement, NFRN National President Alan Smith said: "Red tape places an unnecessary and unwelcome burden on small businesses and its reduction has been a priority for the NFRN since the coalition came into power.
"Having lobbied the Government to take action on this for some considerable time we are pleased it is finally lifting up its heels and taking firm steps in the right direction to reduce this unnecessary cost to shopkeepers."
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