Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005

Joint safety and health agreements.

24

24.—(1) A trade union of employees, representing a class or classes of employees, and a trade union of employers may—

( a) enter into or vary an agreement (in this Act referred to as a “joint safety and health agreement”) providing practical guidance to the employees and employers with respect to safety, health and welfare at work including the requirements of the relevant statutory provisions, and

( b) apply to the Authority seeking approval for the agreement or its variation.

(2) The Authority may approve of a joint safety and health agreement where it is satisfied that—

( a) the parties concerned consent to the approval sought,

( b) the agreement is expressed to apply to all employees of a particular class and their employers and the Authority is satisfied that it is normal and desirable that it should so apply,

( c) the parties to the agreement are substantially representative of such employees and employers,

( d) the agreement does not conflict with the requirements of the relevant statutory provisions, and

( e) the agreement is in a form suitable for approval.

(3) Where an application is made to the Authority for approval of a joint safety and health agreement, the Authority shall direct the parties concerned to publish information on the agreement in such a manner that is best calculated to bring the application to the notice of all persons concerned.

(4) The Authority shall not approve of a joint safety and health agreement until one month after its publication under subsection (3) and if any objection is received within that period, the Authority shall consider the objection and shall not approve the agreement if it does not comply with subsection (2).

(5) Approval of a joint safety and health agreement may be withdrawn by the Authority if it is satisfied that all parties thereto consent to its withdrawal or if the agreement is terminated by any of the parties concerned.

(6) Where the Authority approves of a joint safety and health agreement, it shall publish a notice of approval in Iris Oifigiúil and in at least 2 daily newspapers circulating in the State, and that notice shall—

( a) identify the agreement,

( b) specify the matters relating to safety, health and welfare at work or the relevant statutory provisions in respect of which the agreement is approved and published, and

( c) specify the date on which the agreement shall come into operation.

(7) The parties to a joint safety and health agreement shall make copies of the agreement, or variations thereof, available for inspection by all persons concerned.

(8) A joint safety and health agreement shall, so long as it continues to be approved by the Authority, be taken into account by the Authority or a person prescribed under section 33 for the purposes of assessing compliance by an employer with the relevant statutory provisions notwithstanding the fact that that employer and the employees concerned are not party to the joint safety and health agreement.