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Consulting employees on health and safety matters can be very important in creating and maintaining a safe and healthy working environment. By consulting employees, an employer should motivate staff and make them aware of health and safety issues. Businesses can become more efficient and reduce the number of accident and work-related illnesses.
By law, employers must consult all of their employees on health and safety matters. Some workers who are self-employed, for example for tax purposes, are classed as employed under health and safety law.
If an employer recognises a trade union and that trade union has appointed safety representatives under the above regulations, then the employer must consult those safety representatives on matters affecting the group or groups of employees they represent. Members of these groups of employees may include people who are not members of that trade union.
Any employees not in groups covered by trade union safety representatives must be consulted by their employers under the above regulation's. The employer can choose to consult them directly or through elected representatives.
If the employer consults employees directly, he or she can choose whichever method suits everyone best. If the employer decides to consult his or her employees through an elected representative, then employees have to elect one or more people to represent them.
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