HC Deb 13 February 2004 vol 418 cc312-3W
Mr. Hancock

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will introduce legislation to provide for greater(a) recognition and (b) powers for safety representatives in workplaces. [155819]

Mr. Browne

We have no plans to introduce legislation to provide for greater recognition and powers for safety representatives.

We have recently received advice from the Health and Safety Commission (HSC) recommending that new legislation on worker involvement and representation in occupational health and safety should not be introduced at this time. This advice, which we have accepted recommends that Health and Safety Commission and Executive should instead concentrate their efforts on securing the agreement of social partners to principles and measures that will ensure that workers are properly involved in controlling risks to occupational health and safety. Today HSC is publishing its new strategy and out of this will shortly release a statement on worker involvement setting out these principles and working with social partners to win wider support. A copy will be placed in the Library when published.