Note – this does not currently apply to restaurants and hotels!
Since October 2012, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have been operating under The Health and Safety (Fees) Regulations 2012 which state that if the HSE carry out an inspection of your premises and they find you “are in material breach of the law” you will be required to pay a fee. In practice, this means that if the HSE inspector has identified that you are not complying with the law, and they are required to issue a written notice, you will be expected to pay for the cost of the inspection.
The inspector, upon the issuing of a written notice, is duty bound to inform you of the precise elements of Health and Safety law that they believe you have broken, with their supporting reasons based on the observations they have made during the inspection. They are also required to inform you that a fee is payable to the HSE.
The exact amount you will be required to pay is based on the inspector’s hourly fee. This currently stands at £124 per hour. You will not only be liable for the time the inspector spent on-site, but also for the time it takes them to complete the follow-up paperwork, which may occur after the inspection has finished. This fee will also include part hours.
Subsequent to serving a written notice, which will tell you what you need to do to comply with the law, you should receive an invoice detailing:
- the period of time the invoice relates to;
- a breakdown of the activities or services for which costs can be recovered
- the time spent against each activity;
- the total fee payable; and
- a brief description of the work undertaken
As fee for intervention fees arise from the HSE carrying out its statutory functions, these fees fall outside the scope of VAT, so no VAT will be charged.
Additional information, and also specific guidance on The Health and Safety (Fees) Regulations 2012, can be found at http://www.hse.gov.uk/fee-for-intervention/what-is-ffi.htm and http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/hse47.pdf.
If you are unsure whether or not this is applicable to you and your business, the full list of business types affected can be found here: http://www.hse.gov.uk/contact/authority.htm
Please contact Food Alert on 020 7244 1900 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any enquiries about this topic.