Complaints about regulatory activity

How to complain, who to contact and what happens after the complaint is made when you...

Complain about regulatory activity and HSE

  • If you wish to challenge a formal enforcement notice that has been served on you by a HSE ¬†inspector (ie an Improvement notice or Prohibition Notice) then there is a specified legal process you must follow. You should have been notified of this when the notice was served. You must make any appeal promptly because there are strict time limits.
  • If you are being prosecuted by HSE then you will be able to challenge them through the courts. HSE has to provide you certain information in advance to allow you to defend yourself.
  • If you are a business owner and your complaint concerns HSE's regulatory activities of a higher hazard workplace or activity you operate, for example where there is a permissioning or licensing regime in place, then there are specific routes to raise your concerns with us.
  • If you have contact with us and are unhappy with the way we have dealt with you, if there were unreasonable delays on our part, if we have not followed our own policies or processes or if you feel a member of our staff has not acted appropriately we want to know. We want to put things right, and we always welcome suggestions to help us improve our performance.
  • If an inspector or other regulator has written to you and required you to take action (but has not served an enforcement notice) and you disagree, then in the first instance you should discuss this with them.
  • If you cannot sort out the problem with the person you have been dealing with, ask them for the name of their manager (letters from us will also give this information). You can then ask to speak, or if you prefer, write to them. They will look into the matter and tell you what they are going to do about it. Most issues are settled in this way, very often immediately, if this is not the case, we always aim to respond within ten working days.

    Having raised the matter with the manager first, if you are still not satisfied then you can seek resolution by continuing with HSE's complaint process.

Your initial choice does not preclude you from pursuing the other route at a later stage.

Complain about regulatory activity and a Local Authority

  • If you wish to challenge a formal enforcement notice that has been served on you by a Local Authority inspector (ie an Improvement notice or Prohibition Notice) then there is a specified legal process you must follow. You should have been notified of this when the notice was served. You must make any appeal promptly because there are strict time limits.
  • If you are being prosecuted by a Local Authority then you will be able to challenge them through the courts. The Local Authority has to provide you certain information in advance to allow you to defend yourself.
  • If you have contact with the Local Authority and are unhappy with the way they have dealt with you, you should let them know. They will want to work with you to find a solution and will always welcome suggestions to help improve their performance.
  • If an inspector or officer has written to you and required you to take action to put matters right (but has not served an enforcement notice) and you disagree then in the first instance you should discuss this with them.
  • If you cannot sort out the problem with the person you have been dealing with, ask them for the name of their manager (letters from LAs will usually give this information). You can then ask to speak, or if you prefer, write to them. They will look into the matter and tell you what they are going to do about it. Most issues are settled in this way, very often immediately.
  • In addition to the steps above, each local authority will have a corporate complaints procedure for you to raise your complaint directly and seek resolution at a local level within specified timescales, Details of complaints procedures are usually found on the local authority website.

    Having first raised the matter with the specific local authority under their formal complaints procedure, if you are still not satisfied then you can seek resolution by

Your initial choice does not preclude you from pursuing the other route at a later stage.

Other means of redress

You can also write and ask your MP to take up your case with us or with Ministers.

Your MP may also ask The Office of the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman to review your complaint. Their role is to consider complaints that government departments, a range of other public bodies in the UK, and the NHS in England, have not acted properly or fairly or have provided a poor service.

Finally you can go to Judicial review.

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2024-04-11