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March 6, 2015

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TUC warns House of Lords of health and safety deregulation

The Trade Union Congress warned members of the House of Lords that the deregulation bill would scrap health and safety rules for millions, as the bill had it’s third reading in the House of Lords on Wednesday.

The TUC has warned that the deregulation bill will amend section 3 of the Health and Safety at Work Act so that any self-employed person who is not on a prescribed list will no longer have duties under the Act and will not be liable for a criminal act, or be issued with enforcement proceedings regardless of any risk they pose to themselves or others.

The congress says that the clause will remove 4.2 million self-employed people from the requirement of the Act.

Frances O’Grady, general secretary of the TUC, said: “This is virtually a licence to kill. It will be a green light to cowboys and incompetents to cut corners and take risks – not only with their own lives, but also with those of others.

“It undermines the simple message in the Health and Safety at Work Act that everyone should be covered.

“Rather than ‘reducing burdens’ or simplifying things for the self-employed, this bill creates confusion. The only people who will benefit will be the consultants and the lawyers that the self-employed will end up needing to explain their legal position.”

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