16 February 2015

According to Business Secretary Vince Cable and Business and Enterprise Minister Matthew Hancock, businesses are saving over £40 million annually thanks to a Government clamp-down on over-prescriptive regulation.

They made the claim when announcing the latest results of the "Focus on Enforcement" initiative which asks firms to identify how regulatory inspections and advice can be improved, reduced or done differently.

Commenting on the initiative, Mr Hancock said that the Government’s zero-tolerance approach had already seen thousands of pages of unnecessary paperwork removed.

To date, nine reviews have been undertaken, covering the following sectors: pharmaceutical manufacturing; fire safety; care homes; volunteer events; food manufacturing; childcare; coastal developments; pubs; and chemicals manufacturing.

Confusing guidance led many food-makers to believe that they always had to buy two sets of equipment to prepare food, the Minister went on. New business-friendly guidance makes clear where it would still be safe to clean and re-use a single set, helping hospitality businesses control cross-contamination risks in a more cost-effective manner.

Fire inspections were also cited by the Minister, given that they have sometimes taken businesses up to six hours to complete. Now audits for premises with a good record have been significantly shortened and typically last just 45 minutes.

Rob Clapham, Health and Safety Compliance Manager with Asda Stores Ltd said: "The impact regulation has on the day-to-day operation of our stores is significant in terms of time spent dealing with inspection. It is a welcome change to see that our efforts to achieve compliance are recognised through shorter inspections."

See http://bit.ly/1hlhUWafor more details of the Focus on Enforcement.