§ Mr. Hinchliffe
To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what plans she has to ensure that health and safety representatives are elected for each workplace; and if she will require employers to recognise such persons' rights and duties.
§ Mr. McLoughlin
The Safety Representatives and Safety Committees Regulations 1977 allow recognised trade unions to appoint safety representatives, although in some cases the representatives are, in fact, elected. The regulations also give these safety representatives certain rights and duties. The Trade Union Reform and Employment Rights Bill, which is currently before the House, contains a provision to further strengthen these rights by protecting safety representatives against being dismissed for carrying out their health and safety duties. I have no other plans to change the current arrangements.