Regulations on consulting with employees

A health and safety briefing provided by the IET.

The need for joint consultation on matters of health and safety has long been recognised. Indeed the International Labour Office has for many years advocated the value of communication on health and safety matters with employees, to nations across the world.

In the UK, the Safety Representatives and Safety Committees Regulations (1977) made under the Health and Safety at Work Act, called for those employers recognising Trades Unions to consult with Safety Representatives appointed by the Trades Union. Although such Safety Representatives could represent groups of persons, some of whom were not members of Trades Unions, there was still a huge gap in the ranks of employees in enterprises across the nation, who should be able to benefit from consultation on health and safety matters.

The gap has now been filled by  the Health and Safety (Consultation with Employees) Regulations 1996 (HSCE Regulations), initiated by the need for further implementation of Articles 10, 11 and 12 of the Framework Directive - Council Directive 89/391/EEC for measures to encourage improvements in the health and safety of employees at work.