Exempting some self-employed from health & safety laws: our response

Response: CD242-Public consultation on proposals to exempt some self-employed people from health and safety legislation


The London Hazards Centre is against the proposal to exempt some self- employed from the Health and Safety at Work Act and all other health and safety legislation because:


  1. It will continue to be easier to understand the law and to follow it if it applies to everyone.
  2. There is no onerous burden of compliance to those who are genuinely not posing a risk to themselves and others; the obligation to reduce risk following risk assessment, only kicks in when a risk is identified.
  3. Many “self-employed workers” are self employed in name only – this has been widely studied and construction union UCATT has campaigned against this over many years; but false self-employment contracts are also used in other sectors – contract cleaning, care work, and possibly across a range of jobs were temporary recruitment is common place through use of Employment Agencies.  These jobs are not without risks.
  4. Other jobs like hairdressing, beauticians, therapists, artists, designers, cooks, restaurant owners, hotel owners, sales (market stalls), musicians, door- to-door salespeople, window cleaners, musicians, actors, drivers – taxis, mini-cabs, etc  are not without risks – though many are self employed.
  5. We are against the deregulation being proposed across a number of areas, we do not think many workers are aware that this is going on and believe your consultation exercises are flawed in this respect.
  6. We believe the deregulation is ideologically driven by those wishing only to cut costs to businesses. That it is a false economy that will lead to increases in deaths and injuries.

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