Consultation on a revised process for considering disputes under Fee for Intervention (FFI)

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HSE is consulting on a revised and fully independent process for considering disputes in relation to FFI. We are consulting on the details of how the process should operate. In particular, we recognise the need to ensure that the process is accessible to all types and sizes of business and is proportionate to the issues involved and amount of the fees. The consultation will seek views on the details of the process and in particular:

  • the information which HSE will provide.
  • how representation can be made.
  • how disputes will be considered.
  • suspension of the dispute process where an investigation or appeal against an enforcement notice is ongoing.

Consultation began on 21 April 2017 and ends on 2 June 2017.

View the consultative document: http://consultations.hse.gov.uk/gf2.ti/f/22434/654341.1/PDF/-/cd284ffidisputeprocessconsultationdocument.pdf

Respond to the consultation using the online questionnaire (http://consultations.hse.gov.uk/consult.ti/cd284ffi/adminQuestionnaire?qid=672451) or download a Word form (http://consultations.hse.gov.uk/gf2.ti/f/22434/654821.1/DOCX/-/cd284ffidisputeprocessconsultationquestionnaire.docx). Our preference is for responses to be in electronic format but alternatively, you can submit your response by post by 2 June 2017 to:

Regulatory Policy Unit, Health and Safety Executive, 5.S3 Redgrave Court, Merton Road, Bootle, Merseyside L20 7HS

Email: ffidisputeconsultation@hse.gov.uk

What is FFI?

Fee for Intervention (FFI) is HSE’s cost recovery regime implemented from 1 October 2012, under regulations 23 to 25 of The Health and Safety (Fees) Regulations 2012.

These Regulations put a duty on HSE to recover its costs for carrying out its regulatory functions from those found to be in material breach of health and safety law.

Dutyholders who are compliant with the law, or where a breach is not material, will not be charged FFI for any work that HSE does with them.

Material breach

A material breach is when, in the opinion of the HSE inspector, there is or has been a contravention of health and safety law that requires them to issue notice in writing of that opinion to the dutyholder.

Written notification from an HSE inspector may be by a notification of contravention, an improvement or prohibition notice, or a prosecution and must include the following information:

  • the law that the inspector’s opinion relates to;
  • the reasons for their opinion; and
  • notification that a fee is payable to HSE.

Who does it apply to

FFI applies to dutyholders where HSE is the enforcing authority. This includes employers, self-employed people who put others (including their employees or members of the public) at risk, and some individuals acting in a capacity other than as an employee, eg partners. It includes:

  • public and limited companies;
  • general, limited and limited liability partnerships; and
  • Crown and public bodies.

Hourly rate

The fee payable by dutyholders found to be in material breach of the law is £129 per hour. The total amount to be recovered will be based on the amount of time it takes HSE to identify and conclude its regulatory action, in relation to the material breach (including associated office work), multiplied by the relevant hourly rate. This will include part hours.

Administrative and financial arrangements

HSE is responsible for the administration of the FFI scheme, including issuing invoices and, if needed, debt recovery.

The invoice will contain the following information:

  • the period of time the invoice relates to;
  • a breakdown of the activities or services for which costs can be recovered for each member of HSE staff involved, and HSL or third parties;
  • the time spent against each activity;
  • the total fee payable; and
  • a brief description of the work undertaken.

Invoicing and debt recovery functions are carried out centrally within HSE. Inspectors are not responsible for issuing invoices or for any follow-up actions relating to non-payment of invoices.

Invoices will generally be sent to dutyholders every two months, within 30 working days of the end of each invoicing period. Invoices will be issued in January, March, May, July, September and November.

As FFI fees arise from HSE carrying out its statutory functions, these fees fall outside the scope of VAT, so no VAT will be charged.

Information about the disputes process is available on this website.

Guidance

This site contains a wealth of material for dutyholders and employers who have responsibility for health and safety in their organisation.

It will help businesses and organisations understand what FFI means for them and how it fits with HSE’s existing approach to enforcement.

The Guidance on the application of Fee for Intervention (FFI) document (also available in Welsh) sets out the general principles and approach of the FFI scheme. It includes examples of material breaches but does not cover every scenario where FFI might apply. Inspectors will apply this guidance and their enforcement decisions will be made in accordance with the principles of HSE’s existing enforcement decision-making frameworks – the Enforcement Management Model (EMM) and the Enforcement Policy Statement (EPS). The guidance also explains the procedure for handling queries and disputed invoices.

Dutyholders can also download a summary information leaflet (http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/hse48.pdf), read about the Procedure for queries and disputes (http://www.hse.gov.uk/fee-for-intervention/queries-and-disputes.pdf) and review the guidance that HSE inspectors will follow.

The full list of guidance available can be found in the Resources section of this site.

For more information, visit the HSE web page: http://www.hse.gov.uk/fee-for-intervention/ or contact us on 07896 016380 or at fiona@eljay.co.uk, and we’ll be happy to help.

Contains public sector information published by the Health and Safety Executive and licensed under the Open Government Licence