Select Committee on Work and Pensions Written Evidence


Memorandum submitted by the Police Federation of England and Wales

SUMMARY

    —    The Police Federation of England and Wales represents the interests of 140,000 police officers from Constables to Chief Inspectors.

    —    The HSC Consultative Document on the proposed new Executive suggested that the governing body should have scope to increase in size from nine to 11 members.

    —    The Police Federation proposed that one of the additional places could be filled by a member representing the emergency services.

    —    The 2007 DWP Consultation Document on the HSC/HSE merger proposed that four places on the governing Board should reflect such interests as the Welsh and Scottish Ministers or other appropriate organisations.

    —    The Police Federation expresses its disappointment that this proposal appears to have lessened the opportunity for the emergency services to be represented on the new governing Board.

INTRODUCTION

  The Police Federation of England and Wales is a staff association which represents 140,000 police officers ranging from Constables to Chief Inspectors. We were set up by Act of Parliament in 1919 to look after the welfare and efficiency of our members.

  We welcome the opportunity to contribute to the Select Committee's Inquiry into the Health and Safety Commission and Executive. Our submission deals with our concerns about the published proposals for the membership of the governing Board of the proposed new Health and Safety Executive, and in particular our strong support for the appointment of an emergency services representative.

MEMBERSHIP OF THE GOVERNING BOARD OF THE MERGED HEALTH AND SAFETY EXECUTIVE

  The Health and Safety Commission Consultative Document A Stronger Voice for Health and Safety CD210 set out the Commission's proposals for the merger of the Commission and the Executive into a single body. The conclusion reached in paragraph 63 of the CD was that "We envisage a body of a similar size to the current Commission, but with the scope to increase in size from nine to 11 independent members in addition to the Chair should the need arise".

  Overall, we supported the proposals in the CD, but expressed our concern that, while the present Commissioners "reflect the interests of their broader stakeholder constituences" in the words of paragraph 16 of CD210, there is no member who can claim to represent the emergency services, nor is there an Industry Advisory Committee (IAC) covering that area of employment. The police and fire services in particular are high risk occupations and we invited the Commission to consider whether the interests of the many thousands of employees concerned would be better served by an additional IAC and/or a dedicated member on the proposed new governing body of the merged Health and Safety Executive.

  Subsequently, the August 2007 DWP Consultation Document The Merger of the Health and Safety Commission and the Health and Safety Executive contained proposals in Chapter 3 for the membership of the governing Board of the new Executive. In addition to the members appointed after consultation with organisations representing employers, employees and local authorities (seven in all), there is a proposal in paragraph 3.21 for up to four other members to be appointed "to reflect such interests as the Welsh and Scottish Ministers or other appropriate organisations, including professional bodies." This appears to reduce the possibility that some of those additional appointments could be nominees from employers' and employees' representative bodies.

  We had hoped that one of the additional seats on the new Board could be filled by an emergency services representative, but now, sadly, this latest proposal appears to make that less likely, and we have expressed our concern in our response to DWP. As we understand it, health and safety is not a devolved matter for either the Welsh or Scottish administrations, and we question whether it is appropriate that such political interests should be represented on this non-political body. Instead, we suggest that the opportunity be taken to provide for additional suitable representation from employers' and employees' organisations.

Police Federation

January 2008





 
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