Advice & Assistance
Researh & Briefings
Deaths, Inquests & Prosecutions
Corporate  Crime & safety Database
Safety Statistics
Obtaining Safety Information
CCA Responses to Consultation Documents
CCA Advocacy
CCA Press Releases
CCA Publications
Support the CCA
Search the CCA site
Contact Us
Quick Links ->
Government's and HSC's Regulatory Policy

This section of the website provides information on the government's policy in general - and the Health and Safety Commission's position in particular - on "regulation". It is very important to look at the Government's wider regulatory policies as these are increasingly having an impact upon the policies that the HSC adopts in relation to safety.

In effect issues about regulation concern two major issues.
whether and in what circumstances - in order to change the behaviour of organisations - it is necessary to change the law (this is often known as 'classic regulation') or whether it is preferable to use alternative approaches, like the use of voluntary guidance.
whether in relation to any laws that exist or will exist, how should regulatory bodies go about enforcing them

The Government and Regulation
There are a number of different bodies that impact upon Government policy in this area.

The Treasury and the Hampton Review
The Cabinet Office's 'Regulatory Impact Unit'
The Better Regulation Task Force

Each of these bodies is concerned about regulation in general - and not just about regulation in the context of safety - but what they have to say about regulation in general has an impact upon safety.I n summary, the key points of the Government's policy is as follows:

In 1998, Tony Blair announced that "that no proposal for regulation which has an impact on businesses, charities or voluntary bodies, should be considered by Ministers without a regulatory impact assesment being carried out."
In the 2001 Labour Party’s business manifesto ‘The Best Place To Do Business’, it was stated that the government’s intention to ‘deregulate where desirable and regulate with as light a touch as possible’.
In early 2001 Mr. Blair met with representatives from a number of the UK’s major corporations and business organisations, to listen to and discuss their views regarding ‘red tape’ and the need to reduce the burden of regulation on business. In accordance with a manifesto pledge to introduce high quality business secondees to the Cabinet Office and in response to concerns expressed at that meeting, he invited the attendees to nominate suitable employees for secondment in order to focus on reducing the impact of regulation on the private sector.
The Cabinet Office's 'Regulatory Impact Unit' has a Business Regulation Team which was established as a direct result of the Prime Minister’s intervention to recruit private sector secondees, three of whom form the core of the team.
In 2003, the Prime Minister in a foreward to a Cabinet Office guidance on 'Regulatary Impact Assessment stated: Where regulations or alternative measures are introduced, this should be done in a light touch way, with decisions informed by a full regulatory impact assessment, which includes details of not only the obvious costs and benefits of the proposal but also the wider economic, social and environmental impacts. New regulations should only be introduced when other alternatives have first been considered and rejected, and where the benefits justify the costs.

In 2004 Budget, the following reforms were announced:

- Each Government department will now report on their 'regulatory performance'
- The Better Regulation Task Force (BRTF) will analyse these reports.
- Each Department's regulatory performance will have been taken into account in the July 2004 Spending Review.
- In future, any regulatory proposal likely to impose a major new burden on business will require clearance from the Panel for Regulatory Accountability, chaired by the Prime Minister, based on a thorough impact assessment of the proposal agreed by the Cabinet Office Regulatory Impact Unit, before the proposal is put to wider Ministerial approval.
- The Panel will consider all such proposals in the context of Departments’ "previous regulatory performance and the overall burden of regulation across key business sectors".
- The Government has asked Philip Hampton, former finance director of Lloyds/TSB, BT and British Gas, to consider, with business, regulators, and in consultation with the Better Regulation Task Force, the scope for promoting more efficient approaches to regulatory inspection and enforcement while continuing to deliver excellent regulatory outcomes.

The Health and Safety Commission

To access document on HSC and Regulation, click here


Home -> About the CCA
Page last updated on December 9, 2004