As with all sectors and government departments HSE need to plan for deal or no deal when it comes to Brexit. At the recent HSE board meeting a topic put forward for discussion in the board report was HSE’s Brexit communications strategy.
A discussion was held of how the HSE intends to communicate legislative changes flowing form the Brexit process, including a new intranet site for the HSE’s own staff.
To prepare for Brexit, the HSE has secured £75,000 from a special Cabinet Office fund to pay for Brexit-related communications work.
But what is likely to happen?
The future of UK Health and Safety law can be thought of in two possible ways; a Hard Brexit allows the UK complete control over its laws. However, dissent in the workforce and disruption to industry would almost certainly ensue should the Government decide to substantially change or revoke Health & Safety laws.
However a situation where some form of access to the Single Market is retained would probably see the UK obliged to continue to follow EU Directives. This would account for roughly two thirds of Health and Safety laws, while enjoying less say in how those Directives are made. Furthermore future trade agreements with other countries or legislators might see other compliance requirements imposed on the UK.
Regardless of our post-Brexit relationship with the EU, employers should know that sensible and proportionate risk management pays for itself both morally and financially in what is going to be an uncertain and possibly confusing time.