Health and Safety - a practical round up

Health and Safety - a practical round up

Published:

Author: George Roberts

Applies to: UK wide

Further to our legal update on Managing Occupational Road Risk, the DVLA has announced that the paper driver licence counterpart will be withdrawn from use on 8 June 2015.

Driver's checks

Employers will now be unable to check an employee's licence history and endorsements using the counterpart driving licence. Instead, the DVLA is creating an online 'Share Driving Licence' website which will allow members of the public to share their driver licence history with organisations of their choosing. Further information can be found here.

Accordingly, employers should update their policies, terms and conditions and offer letters accordingly to seek consent from employees to access this information.

Fees for intervention (FFI) - tax deductable

The HSE's FFI regime has caused a bit of a stir since its introduction in October 2012. Under the regime, those who break health and safety laws are liable for the HSE's related costs, including inspection, investigation and taking enforcement action.

Thankfully, the HMRC have finally responded to a request made in 2012 regarding the taxable nature of FFI. The HMRC has now confirmed that:

'Where a trader incurs a liability to a regulatory body on revenue account that is broadly intended to cover the regulator's costs of performing its duties in relation to the trading activities, such costs will normally be allowable even where the trader has committed a breach of regulations.'

Consequently, businesses who have incurred FFI costs should ensure that their accountants or accountancy teams are aware of the tax status so that they can benefit accordingly.

Sentencing guidelines - health and safety offences, corporate manslaughter and food safety and hygiene offences guidelines

Consultation on the much anticipated health and safety sentencing guidelines has now closed and the sentencing guidelines are expected to come into force later this year. Importantly, once in force the guidelines will be retrospective. Therefore, we expect to see some tactical early guilty pleas in an attempt to get cases through sentencing before the guidelines apply.

For further information see our detailed article here.

Disclaimer

This document is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. It is recommended that specific professional advice is sought before acting on any of the information given.