If you have been served with an Improvement Notice or a Prohibition Notice under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, you have a right of appeal against the Notice.
Appealing against a Notice
If you are unhappy with the contents of the Notice, for example you may feel that the circumstances outlined in the Notice are inaccurate or that the remedy can be achieved in other ways, then the law permits you to lodge an appeal within 21 days of receiving it.
The appeal mechanism will be explained on the reverse of the Improvement or Prohibition Notice which you received. The duty holder will be told:
- How to appeal, and given a form with which to appeal;
- Where and within what period an appeal may be brought; and
- That the remedial action required by an improvement notice is suspended while an appeal is pending. (This does not apply to Prohibition notices).
To appeal you must complete the form "Appeal under the Health and Safety at Work, etc., Act, 1974", which should have accompanied the Notice.
The form must be sent to the regional office of the Employment Tribunals Service who then arranges a tribunal to hear your appeal.
What is an Employment Tribunal?
Employment Tribunals are independent judicial bodies. Their job it is to hear evidence from both the person receiving the Notice and the Inspector who issued the Notice with the objective of deciding:-
- If the conditions described by the Inspector in the Notice are accurate and the Notice is justified; and
- Whether the action required to remedy the matters described in the Notice is fair and reasonable.
If served with an Improvement or Prohibition Notice, the recipient has 21 days to make an appeal to an Employment Tribunal. The mechanism for this is detailed in this document
Making your appeal to the Tribunal
When you lodge your appeal the form contains details of the grounds on which you are appealing - what it is about the Notice to which you object. Once the Tribunal receives your form a copy will be sent to the Inspector against whose notice you are appealing.
How will I be informed of the Tribunal's decision?
In every case the Tribunal will send you a document setting out their decision and the reasons for that decision. The Tribunal's decision will either be:-
- To dismiss your appeal and agree with the Inspector
- To grant your appeal and cancel the Notice or
- To amend the conditions of the Notice.
Can I appeal against a Tribunal's decision?
You can appeal to the High Court on a point of law. When you receive a copy of the decision you will also be sent information about your right of appeal. Any appeal must be within 42 days of receipt of the Tribunal's decision. The Tribunal may also, in limited circumstances, review its decision.
What about costs and compensation?
The Tribunal may make an order awarding appeal costs to either party. If your appeal is against a Prohibition Notice and is upheld, and you feel that you or your business has suffered financial loss as a result of the Notice, you may be able to seek compensation through the Civil Court.