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Seven in 10 UK businesses are not willing to accept lower health and safety standards as part of the Retained EU Law Bill, according to new research.
A poll of 2,000 UK business owners run by Unchecked UK and supported by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), showed that health and safety remains a priority, with just seven per cent saying they are willing to accept lower standards.
Fewer than a fifth quizzed cited excessive Government regulation as the toughest issue facing them right now, with concerns around energy costs (70 per cent), inflation (65 per cent) and labour shortages (45 per cent) coming top of the worry list.
When asked about government regulation of UK businesses, survey participants identified several of advantages.
The most important reason identified is to create a level playing field for businesses preventing firms from being undercut by businesses using poor corporate practices (34 per cent).
The second highest reason given on the importance of regulation is its role in ensuring public trust in businesses and the products they sell (27 per cent), while others stated that regulation provides certainty for businesses (23 per cent), and helps UK businesses to trade in Europe and the rest of the world (22 per cent).
Only one in twenty businesses (five per cent) think that there are no advantages of government regulation of UK businesses.
Nathan Davies, Head of Policy at RoSPA, said: “As it stands, the health and safety of Britain’s 32 million strong workforce is under threat with the way the Retained EU Law Bill proposes to deal with vital legislation – and given that almost 80 per cent of UK businesses are not willing to accept lower health and safety standards, it demonstrates how woefully out of touch the Government really is.
“We want reassurance that UK will remain a beacon of health and safety, and believe every piece of health and safety legislation should be treated with the care, attention and evidence-based approach it deserves.”
RoSPA is leading a campaign to change the Government’s approach to health and safety legislation as part of the Bill.