Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005
Consultation and participation of employees, safety committees.
26.—(1) Every employer shall, for the purpose of promoting and developing measures to ensure the safety, health and welfare at work of his or her employees and ascertaining the effectiveness of those measures—
(a) consult his or her employees for the purpose of making and maintaining arrangements which will enable the employer and his or her employees to co-operate effectively for those purposes,
(b) in accordance with the arrangements referred to in paragraph (a), consult with his or her employees, their safety representatives or both, as appropriate, in advance and in good time regarding—
(i) any measure proposed to be taken in the place of work which may substantially affect the safety, health and welfare of those employees, including measures to be taken under the relevant statutory provisions,
(ii) the designation of employees under section 11,
(iii) activities arising from or related to the protection from and the prevention of risks to safety, health and welfare at work,
(iv) the hazard identification and the risk assessment to be carried out under section 19,
(v) the preparation of a safety statement under section 20,
(vi) the information to be provided to employees under section 9,
(vii) the information required to be kept or notified to the Authority in respect of accidents and dangerous occurrences referred to in section 8(2)(k),
(viii) the appointment of persons referred to in section 18,
(ix) the planning and organisation of the training referred to in section 10, or
(x) the planning and introduction of new technologies particularly in relation to the consequences of the choice of equipment and working conditions and the working environment for the safety, health and welfare of employees.
(2) Employees shall have the right to make representations to and consult their employer on matters relating to their safety, health and welfare at work, including the matters specified in subsection (1).
(3) Where, in a place of work by agreement of the employer, there is a group of persons (by whatever name known) representative of the employer and the employees that constitutes a safety committee in compliance with Schedule 4 and that exists for the purpose of consultation regarding the safety, health and welfare at work of the employees, consultation within that group of persons may, to such extent as may be agreed between the employer and his or her employees, fulfil the requirements of subsections (1) and (2).
(4) Every employer shall consider any representations made to him or her by his or her employees in relation to the matters specified in this section or any other matter relating to their safety, health or welfare at work and, so far as is reasonably practicable, take any action that he or she considers necessary or appropriate with regard to those representations.
(5) An employer shall give to employees involved in arrangements for consultation referred to in subsections (1) and (3) such time off from their duties as is reasonable having regard to all the circumstances, without loss of remuneration, to enable those employees—
(a) to acquire the knowledge and training necessary to discharge their functions under this section, and
(b) to discharge those functions.
(6) In an undertaking in which arrangements for joint decisionmaking exist involving the employer and employees, these arrangements shall include consultation in accordance with this section.