Gordon MacDonald, programme director at the Health & Safety Executive (HSE), recently held a Twitter discussion where businesses were able to put questions directly to him on issues of concern. In response to a question asking whether FFI would prevent businesses from seeking advice from the HSE and damage the rapport that businesses had with inspectors, Mr MacDonald stated that the HSE did not envisage that it would and added that inspectors explaining the decisions made would assist.
The HSE confirmed that in the first two months of the scheme (which commenced in October last year) 1,419 invoices were issued totalling £727,644. One tenth of the invoices were for values greater than £1k with 70% for less than £500. Roughly 30% of the invoices were for less than £200.
If the scheme continues at the same level, this could bring in revenue of £4.3m – a fraction of the £37m which had been projected by the HSE for 2013/14. However, a HSE spokesman confirmed that this was only an initial indication and that it was too early to draw conclusions as the scheme was only just bedding in. Invoices which are being issued appear to be claiming relatively low sums. If this trend continues, it is questionable whether many recipients would choose to incur the time and money to dispute the invoice even where they feel they have grounds to do so. We will provide further updates on the progress of the scheme in future updates.