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Labour inspectors and HSA may form super agency

Health and Safery Authority

By Michael O’Farrell, Political Reporter
PARTNERSHIP talks at Government buildings are considering the creation of a new super agency by merging the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) with the Government’s labour inspectorate.

The move is being touted as a way for the Government to meet union demands for a far tougher approach to the protection of workers rights - a prerequisite for any new partnership deal.

Although the measure is only one of several possibilities, sources confirmed that it was "in the melting pot" and may form part of an overall deal.

Currently, the HSA has 100 inspectors carrying out up to 14,000 workplace safety inspections annually while an overwhelmed labour inspectorate has a maximum of 31 labour inspectors many of whom are diverted to other duties.

The idea could be sold by the Government as representing a significant new priority to the issues of jobs displacement and workers’ rights as highlighted by the Irish Ferries dispute last year.

However, the Irish Examiner understands that the idea of a completely new independent agency - as proposed by the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) - has not yet been discounted.

Union sources close to negotiations said their first preference would be a completely new agency although they did not discount the possibility of a merger between the labour inspectorate and the HSA.

However, unions believe the merger idea is only feasible if the number of inspectors at the HSA is doubled since inspectors there are already overstretched.

The idea of a new inspectorate to be independent of the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment was first raised in informal talks with the Government by ICTU in the weeks leading up to formal partnership negotiations.

The move will be resisted by department officials and employer groups who have already warned against any measure which will increase their administrative burdens.

However, unions will argue that it is inappropriate for the Department of Enterprise to have control of labour market regulation, given its apparently competing responsibility for the promotion of industry and competitiveness.

 

Labour inspectors and HSA may form super agency

Health and Safery Authority

By Michael O’Farrell, Political Reporter
PARTNERSHIP talks at Government buildings are considering the creation of a new super agency by merging the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) with the Government’s labour inspectorate.

The move is being touted as a way for the Government to meet union demands for a far tougher approach to the protection of workers rights - a prerequisite for any new partnership deal.

Although the measure is only one of several possibilities, sources confirmed that it was "in the melting pot" and may form part of an overall deal.

Currently, the HSA has 100 inspectors carrying out up to 14,000 workplace safety inspections annually while an overwhelmed labour inspectorate has a maximum of 31 labour inspectors many of whom are diverted to other duties.

The idea could be sold by the Government as representing a significant new priority to the issues of jobs displacement and workers’ rights as highlighted by the Irish Ferries dispute last year.

However, the Irish Examiner understands that the idea of a completely new independent agency - as proposed by the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) - has not yet been discounted.

Union sources close to negotiations said their first preference would be a completely new agency although they did not discount the possibility of a merger between the labour inspectorate and the HSA.

However, unions believe the merger idea is only feasible if the number of inspectors at the HSA is doubled since inspectors there are already overstretched.

The idea of a new inspectorate to be independent of the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment was first raised in informal talks with the Government by ICTU in the weeks leading up to formal partnership negotiations.

The move will be resisted by department officials and employer groups who have already warned against any measure which will increase their administrative burdens.

However, unions will argue that it is inappropriate for the Department of Enterprise to have control of labour market regulation, given its apparently competing responsibility for the promotion of industry and competitiveness.

 

Labour inspectors and HSA may form super agency

Health and Safery Authority

By Michael O’Farrell, Political Reporter
PARTNERSHIP talks at Government buildings are considering the creation of a new super agency by merging the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) with the Government’s labour inspectorate.

The move is being touted as a way for the Government to meet union demands for a far tougher approach to the protection of workers rights - a prerequisite for any new partnership deal.

Although the measure is only one of several possibilities, sources confirmed that it was "in the melting pot" and may form part of an overall deal.

Currently, the HSA has 100 inspectors carrying out up to 14,000 workplace safety inspections annually while an overwhelmed labour inspectorate has a maximum of 31 labour inspectors many of whom are diverted to other duties.

The idea could be sold by the Government as representing a significant new priority to the issues of jobs displacement and workers’ rights as highlighted by the Irish Ferries dispute last year.

However, the Irish Examiner understands that the idea of a completely new independent agency - as proposed by the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) - has not yet been discounted.

Union sources close to negotiations said their first preference would be a completely new agency although they did not discount the possibility of a merger between the labour inspectorate and the HSA.

However, unions believe the merger idea is only feasible if the number of inspectors at the HSA is doubled since inspectors there are already overstretched.

The idea of a new inspectorate to be independent of the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment was first raised in informal talks with the Government by ICTU in the weeks leading up to formal partnership negotiations.

The move will be resisted by department officials and employer groups who have already warned against any measure which will increase their administrative burdens.

However, unions will argue that it is inappropriate for the Department of Enterprise to have control of labour market regulation, given its apparently competing responsibility for the promotion of industry and competitiveness.

 

Labour inspectors and HSA may form super agency

Health and Safery Authority

By Michael O’Farrell, Political Reporter
PARTNERSHIP talks at Government buildings are considering the creation of a new super agency by merging the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) with the Government’s labour inspectorate.

The move is being touted as a way for the Government to meet union demands for a far tougher approach to the protection of workers rights - a prerequisite for any new partnership deal.

Although the measure is only one of several possibilities, sources confirmed that it was "in the melting pot" and may form part of an overall deal.

Currently, the HSA has 100 inspectors carrying out up to 14,000 workplace safety inspections annually while an overwhelmed labour inspectorate has a maximum of 31 labour inspectors many of whom are diverted to other duties.

The idea could be sold by the Government as representing a significant new priority to the issues of jobs displacement and workers’ rights as highlighted by the Irish Ferries dispute last year.

However, the Irish Examiner understands that the idea of a completely new independent agency - as proposed by the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) - has not yet been discounted.

Union sources close to negotiations said their first preference would be a completely new agency although they did not discount the possibility of a merger between the labour inspectorate and the HSA.

However, unions believe the merger idea is only feasible if the number of inspectors at the HSA is doubled since inspectors there are already overstretched.

The idea of a new inspectorate to be independent of the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment was first raised in informal talks with the Government by ICTU in the weeks leading up to formal partnership negotiations.

The move will be resisted by department officials and employer groups who have already warned against any measure which will increase their administrative burdens.

However, unions will argue that it is inappropriate for the Department of Enterprise to have control of labour market regulation, given its apparently competing responsibility for the promotion of industry and competitiveness.