Cost of health and safety compliance for small firms falling says FPB

09 July 2013

While the overall cost of compliance for small businesses is on the rise, the cost of health and safety compliance is falling, according to new research from the Forum of Private Businesses.

The new research puts the total cost of compliance at more than £18.2 billion – an 8.5% increase compared to 2011.

Firms are shown to be paying 11% more to external providers of payroll and tax support compared with two years ago, which the employer support organisation said was most likely down to the introduction of Real Time Information – a new HMRC payroll process introduced in April which all firms with employees have to use.

As in 2011 when the Forum did its last cost of compliance study, health and safety was still shown to be the the third biggest outlay for small firms.

However internal health and safety costs have fallen slightly since 2011, according to the Forum’s data. It said this was also likely to fall further after October’s Common Commencement Date when sweeping changes to workplace health and safety are implemented.

"The changes in October should really see H&S costs come down as the onus shifts to employees having to take more of a responsibility for their own safety in the workplace, and the end of strict liability for employer will mean firms can’t be held responsible for accidents beyond their control,” said Downes.