Once the UK leaves the EU, its health and safety laws could be watered down, the Trades Union Congress (TUC) has warned.
According to the TUC, the government needs to make guarantees relating to workplace health and safety legislation to protect it once Brexit is completed.
The organisation stated that even if all existing health and safety legislation is transferred from EU to UK law initially, there is no indication of how much of that will remain once it has been reviewed, which could mean key pieces of legislation are repealed in the future.
Frances O’Grady, TUC General Secretary, commented that whichever political party is in power following this month’s general election, they should put concrete plans in place to protect workers’ health and safety now and in the future.
She called for workplace rights to be placed “at the heart” of any Brexit deal. “It should be written into the deal that the UK and EU will meet the same standards, for both existing rights and future improvements,” she asserted.
Ms O’Grady’s comments come after Unite warned that cuts to the number of health and safety Inspectors in the UK are putting workers at risk because firms are currently kept in check by the fear of prosecution, and with fewer inspectors, businesses who aren’t adhering to health and safety regulations, may feel more confident that they can get away with poor health and safety practices.
Regardless of what happens with health and safety legislation post-Brexit, you should make sure you have robust emergency response plans in place. Contact us today if you need to update your procedures and require assistance.