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Health and safety burden eased for work placements

As part of the government’s crackdown on excessive health and safety legislation, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has issued new guidance that will make it easier for businesses to offer work experience to young people.

According to the guidance, school pupils should be treated no differently to any other employee, and businesses that have already assessed the risks for young people do not need to carry out further assessments for every placement.

“Employers should already be managing the risks in their workplace,” said Judith Hackitt, chair of the HSE, “and are best placed to assess whether or not they need to do anything additional for a new young person joining them.

“Our revised guidance makes it clear – and easy – for employers and work experience organisers to understand what they need to do.”

In addition, the Association of British Insurers confirmed that, for the purposes of employers’ liability insurance, students on a placement will be treated as current employees. The requirement for staff supervising people aged 16 or 17 on a work placement to undergo disclosure checks will also be removed.