EEP Group

Abolish €2.7 billion Health & Safety reporting burden for SMEs

Published: Tue, 26 November 2013

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At the beginning of European SME week in Brussels (25th November), Sean Kelly MEP, called for the end to the burden of Health & Safety reporting which costs EU Small to Medium Enterprises €2.7 billion per year.

“One of the biggest issues for SMEs operating in Europe is the level of bureaucracy they have to contend with,” Sean Kelly, a member of the European Parliament’s Industry Committee said in Brussels today.

“A recent report found that exempting small businesses, in low-risk sectors, from keeping written Health & Safety assessment reports would save European businesses an estimated €2.7 billion.”

The report’s taskforce consulted more than 100 European industry bodies and drew on more than 250 ideas for EU reforms for the Cut EU red tape report.

“Health & Safety regulations are of the utmost importance, however, some parts of the regulation could be considered over-the-top and unnecessary. There should be some room for flexibility with regard to small, low-risk businesses that do not need to keep such detailed written risk assessments and I will be pursuing this matter at EU level.”

Mr Kelly paid tribute to the SME sector this week: “The latest figures show the majority of EU28 enterprises are micro enterprises at 93 per cent, accounting for 30 per cent of persons employed.

“The sector is particularly important in Ireland and in more regional areas where an SME can provide vital jobs in a small community. The EU must do all it can to support those business owners who see an opportunity and create a business of benefit to the locality.”

The South MEP cited Ireland’s ranking as the ‘most entrepreneurial country’ in Europe for tech companies by the Wall Street Journal last week. “In their analysis, the Wall Street Journal looked at Dow Jones VentureSource data on the total amount of venture capital raised by tech companies in each European country since 2003.

“Ireland topped the list having attracted four times as much venture-capital funding per capita as the European average.

“Sweden, which placed second in the survey, attracted 3.7 times the European average. The UK came third, followed by Finland, Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway, France, Germany and Switzerland,” Mr Kelly added.


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