Somehow whenever we have an announcement about "deregulation" my eyes roll followed by mumbling and shaking my head.
The HSE and Department for Work and Pensions recently announced it was simplifying the rules on work experience - which actually its not. Its issued some clarifications that to be honest were blindingly obvious from the very beginning - okay sorry I forgot Insurers and Health and Safety got involved and what was obvious became murky, opaque and even more paper descended on us all.
- The good news is there is now clarity that Work Experience does not require additional Employee Insurance.
- As was really obvious from the very beginning - work experience and young people will need to be considered on a risk assessment - but you do not need to do one for every young person on work experience. That's a relief I've got clients with the same RA we did way back.
As with all deregulation its a lot of noise to satisfy the Tabloids. Poor advice and risk assessment is the problem - always has been - always will be. Parts of me see the cynical sell through fear activities as a root cause and at other times the Corporate fear of "liability" - but the drive towards Deregulation is fundamentally misdirected.
Risk assessment has always been simple - equally for Young People risk assessment is simple - yes they need to be considered as they're far less experienced and lacking the skills of the workplace. This may mean ensuring they don't undertake high risk below the age of 18 but in many cases the RA will simply be ensuring they are supervised at all times and that they get the same protection as other people doing the work. Sometimes it may be a bit more complicated.
But a good RA will cover most of your staff, yes you should consider what extra risks groups such as young people, those with disabilities or pregnant staff may encounter and what additional precautions are needed - but it remains true that a good well written RA will cover 99% of your needs and not need redoing bar periodic reviews so long as the work remains constant