The FFI scheme was introduced in October 2012 at an hourly rate of £124. This increased to £129 per hour in 2016 but, on the 6th April 2019, the hourly rate increased again to £154! This is nearly a 20% increase in charges to hit businesses that are found to be in material breach of health and safety law.
The aim of the FFI scheme was to shift the cost of health and safety regulation from the public purse to those businesses that break health and safety laws. The HSE have attributed the rising hourly charges, in part, to the scheme running at a deficit and cumulative inflationary pressures.
Those businesses in breach of health and safety law will now have to pay £154 per hour for the HSE’s time in helping to put matters right, including, investigating and taking enforcement action.
The fee may include the inspector’s time:
- at your business or workplace
- preparing reports
- getting specialist advice
- talking to you after the visit
- talking to your workers
The fee can vary depending on:
- how long the original visit was
- the time the inspector spent helping you put things right
- the time it took the inspector to investigate your case
- any time they spend on taking action against you
Can I appeal a fee?
Yes you can. There are three stages; a “query”, a “stage one” appeal and a “stage two” appeal. Not all appeal stages are free. If you query a bill (i.e. want to know what it is for and how it has been calculated etc) then this will be free. If you wish to progress to a “stage one” appeal this will be reviewed by a HSE manager but will be charged at the hourly rate at £154 per hour. If you wish to appeal that decision to a “stage two” appeal, this will have one independent adjudicator on the panel but again will be charged at £154 per hour.
At Southalls, we have a history of receiving phenomenal HSE feedback at inspections. However, we are also very successful at appealing client FFIs. Our holistic approach of expert consultancy backed up by our innovative safety management software, known as Safety Cloud, provides an exceptionally robust system for businesses across the UK.