Almost 70 percent of UK businesses are not willing to accept lower health and safety standards as part of the Retained EU Law Bill, according to new research.

The research, which polled 2,000 business owners, shows that health and safety remains a priority, with just seven percent saying they are willing to accept lower standards.

Fewer than a fifth quizzed cited excessive Government regulation as the toughest issue facing them right now, with concerns around energy costs (70%), inflation (65%) and labour shortages (45%) coming top of the worry list.

When asked about government regulation of UK businesses, survey participants identified several advantages. The most important reason identified is to create a level playing field for businesses preventing firms from being undercut by businesses using poor corporate practices (34%).

The second most important reason given on the importance of regulation is its role in ensuring public trust in businesses and the products they sell (27%), while others stated that regulation provides certainty for businesses (23%), and helps UK businesses to trade in Europe and the rest of the world (22%). Only one in twenty businesses (5%) think that there are no advantages of government regulation of UK businesses.

Nathan Davies, Head of Policy at RoSPA, said:

“As it stands, the health and safety of Britain’s 32 million strong workforce is under threat with the way the Retained EU Law Bill proposes to deal with vital legislation – and given that almost 80 percent of UK businesses are not willing to accept lower health and safety standards, it demonstrates how woefully out of touch the Government really is.

“We want reassurance that UK will remain a beacon of health and safety, and believe every piece of health and safety legislation should be treated with the care, attention and evidence-based approach it deserves.”





Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview, and host of the HR in Review podcast series. With a Master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, and wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at the University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.