As a result of what have been described as “technical difficulties”, the Health and Safety Executive has been forced to defer the introduction of the planned scheme known as Fee for Intervention (FFI). This is the system by which the Treasury is able to recover the cost to the taxpayer of the enforcement authority’s time involved in dealing with employers who break health and safety laws.
HSE’s programme director, Gordon MacDonald, is quoted as saying “The Government has agreed that it is right that those who break the law should pay their fair share of the costs to put things right – and not the public purse. Discussions are still taking place on the technical details of the scheme, which we expect to conclude soon. FFI will be introduced at the next available opportunity, which is likely to be October 2012.” Apart from sorting out the technical issues, HSE is using the delay as an opportunity to improve communication with employers about how the scheme will work and how it will affect them.