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News - 20 January 2012

Prime Minister vows to relieve health and safety headache

Speaking to small businesses and entrepreneurs at Intuit UK, David Cameron revealed plans to change the health and safety law on strict liability for civil claims so that businesses are no longer automatically at fault if something goes wrong.

He also announced that the Government will investigate the demands made by insurance companies on businesses to ensure that compliance does not force businesses to go over and above what is required by law just to secure insurance.

He said: "Talk of 'health and safety' can too often sound farcical or marginal. But for British businesses - especially the smaller ones that are so vital to the future of our economy - this is a massively important issue. Every day they battle against a tide of risk assessment forms and face the fear of being sued for massive sums. The financial cost of this culture runs into the billions each year.

However, TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said:
"Workers will be astonished by the claim that there is an 'excessive health and safety culture that has become an albatross around the neck of British businesses'. The truth is that there are two million people in the UK who have an illness or injury caused by their work - the vast majority of which could have been prevented had their employer had taken the correct safety precautions. "

As always, we at ABDS will keep you informed as the debate goes on, but if you have any business related questions, please do not hesitate to contact Lavinia Newman, Stuart Coleman or Tonmoy Kumar to discuss how ABDS can help in all your financial planning and business advice.

ABDS Chartered Certified Accountants of Southampton.
Tel: 023 8083 6900  E-mail: abds@netaccountants.net

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