Health & Safety: Managing Fee for Intervention (FFI)

December 23, 2019
 

On 1st October 2012, HSE introduced a new cost recovery regime known as Fee for Intervention as part of The Health and Safety (Fees) Regulation 2012. This regulation places a duty on HSE to recover its cost for carrying out regulatory functions, from those found to be in material breach of health and safety law.

HSE have the legal right to charge companies fees for intervention if they are found to be in material breach of health and safety law.

If a HSE inspector believes that a company has breached health and safety law and issues a notice in writing of their opinion to the duty holder, then this is classed as a material breach. The written notice may be a notification of contravention, an improvement or prohibition notice or a prosecution. It will include the relevant law, the reasons for the notice and the notification that a fee is payable to HSE.

If duty holders are found to be compliant with the law, or where a breach is not material, they will not be charged a Fee for Intervention.

FFI is worked out by multiplying the time spent carrying out regulatory action by £154.00.

How much are fees for intervention?

HSE’s FFI is currently charged at £154.00 per hour. The total amount recovered from the duty holder will depend on how long HSE has spent carrying out regulatory actions in relation to the material breach. This includes associated office work.

Many businesses have ended up paying around £3,000 just for minor breaches.

Who has to pay a fee for intervention?

FFI applies to all duty holders where HSE is the enforcing authority including employers, self-employed people (if they have put their employees or members of the public at risk) and some individuals acting in a capacity other than as an employee.

Important notice

Whereas in the past many interventions were dealt with in an informal manner, the FFI scheme means that all discussions now take place via formal correspondence e.g. a letter or email and will be charged for and recorded by HSE.

It is worth keeping in mind that making a payment to HSE without proper consideration could potentially have a detrimental impact on your business. For example, an injured employee could also use it as evidence in a civil claim for compensation.

Accepting the invoice could be seen in the eyes of the law as an admittance of your neglect in your duties to maintain a safe working environment. This is why it is important to manage FFI effectively.

Seek expert advice

Proper management of FFIs is critical to your business, therefore it is recommended that you implement a procedure so that all HSE inspections are effectively managed. It is also recommended that you seek expert advice if you are faced with FFI invoices, to find the best approach for dealing with them.

The first step to preventing being handed a FFI requires you to ensure that you are meeting the relevant health and safety laws. This is something that our team of experts is more than happy to assist you with. We can also help you determine the best approach for FFIs and provide advice on whether it is in the best interest of your business to pay the fee or contest it using the appeal process.

For more information about how to manage FFI effectively, get in touch.

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