Government Acts to Maintain Current Health and Safety Protections in UK Law Post-Brexit

As the UK prepares to leave the European Union, the Government has published draft proposals to maintain OH&S (Occupational Health and Safety) protections in UK law post-Brexit.

The Health and Safety (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018 aim to amend a set of health and safety protections originally derived from EU regulations. These include the Control of Major Accident Hazards Regulations 2015, Offshore Installations (Prevention of Fire and Explosion, and Emergency Response) Regulations 1995, and the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002. These amendments will ensure existing legislation continues to function effectively in the wake of Brexit.

The draft proposals were submitted by the Department for Work and Pensions as part of the “Parliamentary sifting mechanism” under the EU Withdrawal Act (EUWA) 2018. The “sifting mechanism” means that committees in both Houses of Parliament are able to recommend whether the adoption of any EU law is debated in Parliament or not – referred to in the Act as “positive” and “negative” instruments respectively.

The Minister of State for Disabled People, Health and Work, Sarah Newton has said that the government does “not see any reason why [the regulations] should not be subject to the negative procedure.” The Parliament sift is expected to end on the 11th October.