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Update | Health and safety: Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill

Zahra Nanji questions the repercussions of a late amendment to the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill, which places the onus on employees to prove negligence 
where an injury occurs at work

18 January 2013

On 16 October 2012 the government introduced a new clause (section 6) to the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill (ERR). It will mean that employees injured due to an employers’ breach of workplace regulations, will be prevented from enforcing a breach of the regulations. In essence, civil liability will no longer automatically attach to a breach of regulations which impose a strict duty (for example. those regulations which do not have the benefit of the defence of ‘reasonable practicability’).

There has been no public consultation on the addition of this clause. In September I highlighted that the government had introduced new guidance recommending that as little as two weeks consultation is required on changes to policy or legislation. There was also suggestion that, in some circumstances, there be no final consultation at all.

The government’s rationale behind the addition o...

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