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Education e-briefing - A Safe Brexit?

  • United Kingdom
  • Education - Briefings


The Department for Work and Pensions has recently published the draft Health and Safety (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018 (“the Regulations”), which give some limited insight into the status of EU health and safety law following the departure of the UK from the EU.

According to the Explanatory Memorandum the purpose of the Regulations is to “ensure that EU-derived health and safety protections will continue to be available in domestic law after the UK has left the EU”. However, some technical amendments to existing legislation are required to ensure that the provisions operate effectively after exit date. The Memorandum goes on to state that the impact on business for complying with these technical amendments has been assessed as “minimal”.

The existing regulations affected are specialist - the most common are the Health and Safety (Safety Signs and Signals) Regulations 1996 and the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002. As expected, very little will change for the backbone of health and safety regulation enshrined within the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. The majority of changes are minor amendments to reflect the fact that the terms such as “other member State” will no longer be accurate following the UK’s exit.

If the Regulations are a glimpse into the post-Brexit safety landscape, then little change is predicted. Leaving the final words to the Explanatory Memorandum, the Regulations “maintain the protections afforded by health and safety legislation and do not impose any new liabilities or obligations on relevant persons.”