HSE postpone FFI (Fee for Intervention) Scheme

The Health and Safety executive have decided to postpone FII until the next ‘red tape day’ in October 2012 (FFI is the scheme by which HSE hopes to be able to ‘recover’ up to £40m per year from businesses which have ‘materially breached’ health and safety regulations).

The scheme had been set to start on 6th April 2012 and has been in trial in most regions over the past few month, charge out rates are set at £124 per hour.  However, the regulator has announced that further discussion of “technical details” are required before the scheme can be launched. Owing to parliamentary process this means it  is unlikely to come in now until October 2012.

The HSE’s programme director, Gordon MacDonald, said: “The Government has agreed that it is right that those who break the law should pay their fair share of the costs to put things right – and not the public purse.

“Discussions are still taking place on the technical details of the scheme, which we expect to conclude soon. Therefore, FFI will not be introduced in April but at the next available opportunity, which is likely to be October 2012.”

The HSE said it will take advantage of the extra time to work further with businesses to improve their understanding of the scheme and how it will affect them.   All those who will be involved in implementing it are involved; for example, inspectors who uncover material breaches, or contraventions – which will be the trigger for costs recovery when the scheme goes live – are explaining to the duty-holders what this means and what the implications for them would be if the scheme were already in force.

Detailed guidance for employers and organisations will be available on the HSE’s website ahead of implementation.  More information can be found on the HSE website; http://www.hse.gov.uk/fee-for-intervention/