Regulatory

You receive a Health and Safety Improvement or Prohibition Notice: when, why, and what to do next

What powers does an inspector have to serve an improvement notice or prohibition notice?

Sections 18 to 26 of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act set out the enforcement powers available to a Health and Safety Executive (‘HSE’) or local authority inspector (‘Inspector’).  Sections 21 and 22 give an Inspector the authority to serve an improvement or prohibition notice (‘Notice’).

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You received a Hygiene Emergency Prohibition Notice: What to do next

What is a Hygiene Emergency Prohibition Notice?

The Food Safety and Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013 (‘the 2013 Regulations’) set out various enforcement powers available to Food Standards Agency or local authority enforcement officers (‘Officer’).

Regulation 8 gives an Officer the authority to serve a Hygiene Emergency Prohibition Notice (‘Notice’) on a Food Business Operator to address hygiene concerns that pose an imminent risk of injury to public health. The Notice is a serious and draconian step which prohibits certain operations of a food business; it can be tailored to a particular process or, as is often the case, may mean the immediate closure of the premises.

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Responding to Fire Authority Investigations: An Introduction to Fire Safety Enforcement

Following the Grenfell Tower tragedy, fire safety has come under ever greater scrutiny. There is increased pressure on responsible persons to comply with fire safety duties and on fire authorities to take enforcement action. To aid regulatory control and enforcement, the Government has published two new bills relevant to fire safety. Against that background, below is a general introduction to fire safety enforcement.

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Tesco receives highest ever food safety fine of £7.56 million for out of date food offences – a regulatory compliance warning for all businesses

On 19 April 2021, Tesco Stores Limited was fined £7.56 million at Birmingham Magistrates’ Court after pleading guilty to twenty-two out of date food offences which occurred at three of its stores in 2016 and 2017.  The level of fine is unparalleled in food safety prosecutions and one of the highest safety regulatory fines in recent memory.

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CMA: Pandemic Profiteering – take aim then hesitate

The initial shockwaves of the COVID-19 pandemic, declared in March, prompted authorities across Europe and in America to take urgent steps to protect consumers. Such measures included cracking down on anti-competitive behaviour and temporarily relaxing rules which might otherwise be detrimental to the public interest. Two months on, as countries around the world cautiously ease ‘lockdown’ measures, disturbing stories continue to emerge of competition law abuse, including profiteering on essential products, highlighting significant gaps in existing regulatory powers. While some countries have introduced tough temporary powers, the UK now seems to be hesitating.

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Data protection – another COVID-19 casualty?

With more than one third of the planet’s population currently under some form of COVID-19 related restriction, the wider impact of ‘lockdown’ is becoming apparent. In the UK alone, the wider human cost of this necessary measure has been staggering: two million routine NHS operations cancelled; close to one million applications for universal credit benefit in the final two weeks of March; and calls to a national domestic abuse helpline 49% above average. The global economic picture is equally bleak. The IMF calculates the world economy will shrink by 7% in 2020, with trade levels sinking dramatically and national borrowing set to rise to levels not seen in peacetime. In the face of such dire prospects, for a relaxation of lockdown have grown increasingly vocal. But with a vaccine still 12-18 months off, governments around the world are weighing the apparent trade-off between easing restrictions and maintaining public health.

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