Changes to Health & Safety Law for Self Employed

Deregulation Act
  • An amendment to Section 3 of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 exempts the self employed from health & safety law where the activity [undertaking] affects only the self employed person and therefore presents no risk to the health and safety of others UNLESS the activity is prescribed by the Secretary of State in Regulations, in which case the self employed will continue to have duties.
  • From 1st October 2015.
  • HSE Issue new guidance.

Original Author: HSE
Original Links:


In 2011, the Löfstedt Review link to external websiterecommended that those self-employed whose work activities pose no potential risk of harm to others should be exempt from health and safety law. This recommendation was accepted by Government.

So, from 1 October 2015, if you are self-employed and your work activity poses no potential risk to the health and safety of other workers or members of the public, then health and safety law will not apply to you.

We estimate that health and safety law will no longer apply to 1.7 million self-employed people like novelists, journalists, graphic designers, accountants, confectioners, financial advisors and online traders.

What the law says