That’s a direct quote from the report of the hard hitting and comprehensive Independent Taskforce on Health and Safety, which was released last week.
And here’s another :
Labour market liberalisation in the 1980s and 1990s resulted in a sustained fall in union membership and growth in casual, part-time and short-term employment relationships. This has had enduring implications for the capacity of workers and representatives to engage with employers in managing workplace hazards, and presents ongoing challenges for the regulatory framework. It is likely that this factor influenced omissions from the HSE Act, including the failure to establish a tripartite body and to set obligations requiring employers to have formal worker-participation systems.
The Independent Taskforce members (made up of business, community and union representatives) have done an excellent job. Their report is very challenging, not least for the government, who say they will respond in June.
The report calls for tripartite involvement in the new health and safety agency and proper recognition of the role of unions and worker participation. It says there needs to be stronger rights for workers who raise health and safety concerns and protection for vulnerable workers, including new workers and those in precarious work.
I’m waiting for Simon Bridges to admit his labour law amendments, announced just a few days before are incompatible with the recommendations of the Health and Safety Taskforce. The government’s proposed changes to labour law essentially rebadge the Employment Contract Act changes from last century and they will exacerbate the problems identified by the Taskforce. They are even as petty as cutting rest and meal breaks and letting an employer decide if and when they can be taken. How does that help health and safety?
It’s time to join the dots Simon.
Workers’ rights and health and safety at work go hand in hand. We all agree our workplace death and injury toll is a disgrace.
Please don’t make it worse.