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Update | Health and safety: effects of section 61, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill and the Deregulation Bill

The effects of section 61 of the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill and the Deregulation Bill on health and safety regulation will be far-reaching and deep, says Zahra Nanji

17 May 2013

The health and safety reform roller coaster continued in the first-half of 2013. Following the government's insertion of a last minute amendment to the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill (ERRB) to add section 61 at report stage, the lords were asked to remove this clause from the bill. Very serious concerns were raised by stakeholders about the implications of the amendment on an employee's ability to enforce a breach of the health and safety regulations which had resulted in injury.

On 6 March 2013 an extensive debate took place in the upper house about the far reaching effects that section 61 would have in regressing health and safety law. The lords ultimately voted to remove the clause by a very tight majority of 225-223. However, despite the lords decision to remove the clause, on 16 April 2013 members of parliament chose to reject the lord's amendment to the bill by a majority of 286-259 with the effect that the bill (and section 61) will be given royal a...

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