Light-touch Business Inspections to be Introduced
Government inspections of small-business premises are to be given a “light-touch” under proposals to reduce red tape for compliant firms.
The changes were announced by business secretary Vince Cable and include a comprehensive review of regulatory bodies such as the Health and Safety Executive, and a cut in the number of inspections for “compliant” firms through an “earned recognition system”.
Other measures included working with businesses to promote better local regulation and the introduction of “sunset review clauses” on new statutory regulators, meaning they could be automatically removed after a set period of time.
The changes follow a consultation between the Government and businesses carried out this summer, and aim to introduce a light-touch approach to inspections, according to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).
“Business has said clearly that regulatory enforcement is too often heavy-handed, inefficient and risk-averse ? all of which drains productive businesses of time and resources. That’s why we’re introducing a review of all regulators.”
Helen Hill, director of policy and public affairs at London Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said the Government’s plans “would help reduce the numerous regulatory burdens that restrict firms”.
“The Government is right to make greater use of ‘earned recognition’ as many businesses are still subjected to frequent inspection despite continuous compliance. A reduction in the number of inspections will go some way to showing firms that the Government is committed to creating an environment in which they can grow.”
According to BIS, further information about the new measures is set to be released next January, following the submittal of details about industry specific regulators from government departments.