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New duty of care for self-employed persons [UK]

The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 (also known as the General Duties of Self-Employed Persons) is to implement its 2015 regulations in the UK on 1st October 2015, specifiying which activities require a self-employed person to comply with their duty of care.

Section 3(2) of the Act will require all self-employed people to ensure that they and others affected by their work activities are not exposed to any health and safety risks. Section 2 of the same Act already requires the self-employed to exercise the same care with respect to their own employees.

Activities considered potentially hazardous are listed in the new Regulations, including  those related to agriculture, asbestos, construction, gas, GMOs and railways. For any activities not falling within the listed sectors, if they nonetheless pose a health and safety risk, then the self-employed person is subject to the same duty of care by virtue of Regulation 2(b).

An explanatory memorandum and impact assessment are attached below.

Red-on-line EHS Legalist


The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 (General Duties of Self-Employed Persons) (Prescribed Undertakings) Regulations 2015 (S.I. 1583/2015), published on legislation.gov.uk on 7th August 2015.

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