Terms of reference
A summary of the forum's purpose.
- The forum exists to bring together social partners, relevant enforcement agencies and others to enhance collective responsibility for Health and Safety at work. This purpose reflects a shared commitment to minimising risks workers face, whilst recognising challenges around taking action in a largely non-devolved area.
- The forum will recognise and abide by the following principles:
- Value of operating at a strategic level with consideration of systemic issues and recommended action, rather taking decisions on individual cases.
- Blending reactive with proactive work – combining lessons learned with horizon scanning of major strategic challenges before they become ‘hot’ issues.
- Operating within our powers and levers, recognising what we can do in a largely non-devolved area to improve workplace health and safety.
- Quality of relationships, networks and intelligence sharing outside of meetings as important as the Forum meetings. All partners will need to commit to working together between meetings.
- The forum will discharge the following responsibilities:
- Agree a work plan which is action orientated, outcomes focussed and cognisant of the devolved context.
- Use its collective experience and intelligence to improve advice to employers and identify systemic issues, including proactively analysing sectors that are potentially at risk.
- Influence and bring pressure to bear on enforcement agencies to help them become more targeted and effective.
- Offer an escalation point on urgent and significant issues whose implications are wider than an individual case or employer.
- Improve intelligence sharing, connections and networks to build a more effective and coherent health and safety ‘ecosystem’ involving employers, unions, government and enforcement agencies.
- Provide a leadership role in sharing and disseminating best practice and in supporting health and safety competence across Government, employers and trade unions.
- The forum will comprise a standing membership of:
- Welsh Government
- social partners representing employers and trade unions in the public and private sectors
- enforcement agencies
- others as set out in the table below.
|Welsh Government||Trade Unions||Employers||Others|
|Minister for Economy, Transport and North Wales (Chair)||Sian Cartwright - Wales TUC||Chris Llewelyn - WLGA||HSE|
|Deputy Minister for Housing and Local Government (Vice Chair)||Nick Ireland - USDAW||Richard Tompkins - NHS Wales Employers||LG Environmental Health Officers|
|Relevant officials||Peter Hughes – Unite||Ian Price - CBI||Gareth Petty - ACAS|
|Mike Payne – GMB||Ben Cottam - FSB||PHW|
|Karen Loughlin - Unison||Heather Myers - South Wales Chambers of Commerce||(TBA) independent H&S expert|
- In circumstances where an individual cannot attend a particular meeting – it is acceptable for them to nominate a substitute to attend on their behalf.
- In addition to the above, non-members will be invited to attend the forum by exception. This could include, but is not limited to ‘think tanks’ like the Institute of Employment Rights and the New Economics Foundation and exemplar employers. The forum will determine this on a cases-by-case basis, reflecting the forum’s work plan.
- The membership will be routinely reviewed by Welsh Government and the forum to ensure it is relevant and appropriate.
Meetings and working methods
- The forum will establish a regular rhythm of meetings, with monthly meetings the norm. However, there may be exceptions to this meeting frequency subject to the requirements of the work programme, pressing issues and the availability of members.
- The First Minister will chair the inaugural meeting of the Forum, the Minister for Economy, Transport and North Wales and Deputy Minister for Housing and Local Government will be Chair and Vice Chair at future meetings.
- Welsh Government officials will provide the forum with a secretariat that will organise meetings and provide a record of discussions and actions.
- Where possible, papers will be circulated in advance of forum meetings, but the forum will operate in an agile way and not all of its meetings will be paper based.
- Topics for meeting agendas will be generated to reflect the forum’s work plan.
- Meetings will be scheduled to last at least 1 hour, but no longer than 2 hours. Timings will be dependent on meeting agendas and availability. For the foreseeable future, meetings will take place remotely.
- A meeting quorum will require the attendance of at least 2 representatives from each of the categories listed in the table at point 4.
- The forum will reach decisions by consensus rather than through voting. Where a decision is needed and consensus is not possible, the Chair will adjudicate.
Confidentiality, interests and media
- To facilitate openness, discussion at the forum must be treated in confidence. The forum will, from time to time, have privileged access to material that has not been publically shared. Documentation provided to the forum by the Welsh Government or any other member should remain confidential, and should not be disclosed without the forum’s consent.
- Any conflicts of interest must be declared at the start of each meeting.
- Documentation and meeting notes may be subject to access to information requests made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. Where such requests are received, the Welsh Government's standard Freedom of Information procedures will be followed.
- Any press announcements or publicity relating to the forum will require the consent of the forum.
- The forum is accountable to Welsh Ministers. The forum will, from time to time, provide feedback on its activities to the shadow Social Partnership Council.
- These terms of reference are effective immediately and may be amended, varied or modified at any time by the agreement of the forum.
- The forum is not a time-limited, task and finish group. However, the value and relevance of the forum’s work will be regularly reviewed by members – with the first such review taking place by May 2021.
- Welsh Ministers reserve the right to terminate the forum with the agreement of members.
- The forum will undertake a varied work plan pursuant to the remit outlined in point 3. This work plan may include, but is not limited to the following:
- The proactive assessment of at risk sectors and recommending relevant actions for each of the parties in the forum (i.e. not just actions for government).
- An appraisal of lessons learned from recent high profile cases and how the parties on the forum can use these to improve future outcomes.
- Each partner sharing their intelligence on key and emerging issues to enable the escalation and prioritisation of action where necessary.
- This work plan will be fleshed out in greater detail at the first meeting of the forum.