Scroll down for the original post and earlier updates.
UPDATE 11 MAY 2023: COMMON SENSE AT LAST
Business Secretary Kimi Badenoch has announced that the EU Retained Law Bill will be amended, protecting many key health and safety laws, such as the Construction Design and Management Regulations, Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER), Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations, Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations, Work at Height Regulations, Manual Handling Operations Regulations, and the Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations.
Until this announcement, thousands of key health and safety, environment and other laws would have been scrapped on 31 December this year, under the Bill, which had reached its final stage in the House of Lords.
This is a victory for common sense, and more importantly, a victory for workers across the country who will remain protected in law.
See https://www.shponline.co.uk/retained-eu-law-bill/government-ditch-deadline-for-bonfire-bill/ , https://news.sky.com/story/uk-government-scraps-plan-to-replace-all-eu-laws-by-the-end-of-2023-12877854 , and https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-63755008 (external sites may change or remove content).
UPDATE 14 APRIL 2023: RETHINK ANNOUNCED
The UK government has begun retreating from its Brexit bill plan to ditch EU laws, according to media reports. Given the Retained EU (REUL) Bill’s potentially harmful health and safety impacts – the major government rethink is extremely welcome, however our laws are still at risk. KSH Safety Services are taking this move with cautious optimism. Full story at https://www.ioshmagazine.com/2023/04/13/government-has-major-rethink-over-retained-eu-bill
INITIAL POST: 25 FEBRUARY 2023
A few weeks ago many of the main UK health and safety groups issued a joint statement highlighting serious concerns about the UK Retained EU Law changes that will effectively scrap many major pieces of UK health and safety law on 31 December 2023.
KSH Safety Services totally backs everything in this statement.
The statement, signed by ROSPA, BoHS, British Safety Council, BSiF, CIEH, IIRSM and IOSH reads:
"Given Britain's long-standing record as a global leader in health and safety, we understand the need for continuous improvement and how regularly reviewing legislation can build more effective frameworks.
"However, we are concerned that the timeframe set forth for implementing the Retained EU Law Bill could lead to increased harm. While we agree the revision and improvement of UK health and safety laws would be positive, we are conscious that better regulation is not de-regulation.
"To ensure the safety and health outcomes of Britain's workforce and therefore the resilience of its businesses, regulations must be reviewed sensibly, with due scrutiny and in consultation with both the occupational safety and health profession and business leaders.
"Rushing to implement the Bill as it stands, without clarity on which laws the Bill covers, and with the sunset clauses it contains, will undermine our health and safety standards and protections.
"Ultimately, we need more time and a more transparent process. Time to take an evidence-based approach, to treat each law individually, and to look at the overarching reason the law was originally passed.
"Every law has a considered aim and intention. And it is this aim and intention that we must carefully consider against the needs and necessary protections of workers and their rights, and the needs of all people and business, today and in the future, to be safe, healthy and sustainable.
"Whether we're looking at child safety, occupational health and safety, road safety or home safety, our approach remains the same. We want to ensure that the UK is protected by relevant, evidence-based laws - and to be assured that we have taken the time to treat each one of the thousands of pieces of legislation on its individual merit.
"We therefore call upon the Government to meet with us to discuss the impending Bill so that we can work together to offer constructive opinion. Put simply, we would like a thorough and inclusive consultation and engagement process, so that we do not risk a race to the bottom and strip away our people's rights to a life free from serious accidental injury and ill health."