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The Working Time Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2016

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Regulations 36(1) and (7) and 37(2) and (3)

SCHEDULE 3Enforcement

This schedule has no associated Explanatory Memorandum

Appointment of inspectors

1.—(1) Each enforcement authority may appoint as inspectors (under whatever title it may from time to time determine) such persons having suitable qualifications as it thinks necessary for carrying into effect these Regulations within its field of responsibility, and may terminate any appointment made under this paragraph.

(2) Every appointment of a person as an inspector under this paragraph shall be made by an instrument in writing specifying which of the powers conferred on inspectors by these Regulations are to be exercisable by the person appointed; and an inspector shall in right of appointment under this paragraph—

(a)be entitled to exercise only such of those powers as are so specified; and

(b)be entitled to exercise the powers so specified only within the field of responsibility of the appointing enforcement authority.

(3) So much of an inspector’s instrument of appointment as specifies the powers which the inspector is entitled to exercise may be varied by the appointing enforcement authority.

(4) An inspector shall, if so required when exercising or seeking to exercise any power conferred by these Regulations, produce the instrument of appointment or a duly authenticated copy thereof.

Power of inspectors

2.—(1) Subject to the provisions of paragraph 1 and this paragraph, an inspector may, for the purpose of carrying into effect these Regulations within the field of responsibility of the appointing enforcement authority, exercise the powers set out in sub-paragraph (2).

(2) The powers of an inspector referred to in the proceeding sub-paragraph are the following, namely—

(a)at any reasonable time (or, in a situation which in the inspector’s opinion is or may be dangerous, at any time) to enter any premises which the inspector has reason to believe it is necessary to enter for the purpose mentioned in sub-paragraph (1);

(b)to be accompanied by a constable if the inspector has reasonable cause to apprehend any serious obstruction in the execution of the inspector’s duty;

(c)without prejudice to the preceding head, on entering any premises by virtue of head (a)—

(i)to be accompanied by any other person duly authorised by the inspector’s enforcement authority; and

(ii)to bring any equipment or materials required for any purpose for which the power of entry is being exercised;

(d)to make such examination and investigation as may in any circumstance be necessary for the purpose mentioned in sub-paragraph (1);

(e)to require any person whom the inspector has reasonable cause to believe to be able to give any information relevant to any examination or investigation under head (d) to answer (in the absence of persons other than a person nominated by the inspector to be present and any persons whom the inspector may allow to be present) such questions as the inspector thinks fit to ask and to sign a declaration of the truth of those answers;

(f)to require the production of, inspect, and take copies of or of an entry in—

(i)any records which by virtue of these Regulations are required to be kept, and

(ii)any other books, records or documents which it is necessary for the inspector to see for the purposes of any examination or investigation under head (d);

(g)to require any person to afford the inspector such facilities and assistance with respect to any matters or things within that person’s control or in relation to which that person has responsibilities as are necessary to enable the inspector to exercise any of the powers conferred by this paragraph;

(h)any other power which is necessary for the purpose mentioned in sub-paragraph (1).

(3) No answer given by a person in pursuance of a requirement imposed under sub-paragraph (2)(e) shall be admissible in evidence against that person or the spouse or civil partner of that person in any proceedings.

(4) Nothing in this paragraph shall be taken to compel the production by any person of a document of which that person would on grounds of legal professional privilege be entitled to withhold production on an order for discovery in an action in the High Court.

Improvement notices

3.  If an inspector is of the opinion that a person—

(a)is contravening one or more of these Regulations; or

(b)has contravened one or more of these Regulations in circumstances that make it likely that the contravention will continue or be repeated,

the inspector may serve on that person a notice (in this Schedule referred to as “an improvement notice”) stating that the inspector is of that opinion, specifying the provision or provisions as to which the inspector is of that opinion, giving particulars of the reasons why the inspector is of that opinion, and requiring that person to remedy the contravention or, as the case may be, the matters occasioning it within such period (ending not earlier than the period within which an appeal against the notice can be brought under paragraph 6) as may be specified in the notice.

Prohibition notices

4.—(1) This paragraph applies to any activities which are being or are likely to be carried on by or under the control of any person, being activities to or in relation to which any of these Regulations apply or will, if the activities are so carried on, apply.

(2) If as regards any activities to which this paragraph applies an inspector is of the opinion that, as carried on or likely to be carried on by or under the control of the person in question, the activities involve or, as the case may be, will involve a risk of serious personal injury, the inspector may serve on that person a notice (in this Schedule referred to as “a prohibition notice”).

(3) A prohibition notice shall—

(a)state that the inspector is of the said opinion;

(b)specify the matters which in the inspector’s opinion give or, as the case may be, will give rise to the said risk;

(c)where in the inspector’s opinion any of those matters involves or, as the case may be, will involve a contravention of any of these Regulations, state that the inspector is of that opinion, specify the regulation or regulations as to which the inspector is of that opinion, and give particulars of the reasons why the inspector is of that opinion; and

(d)direct that the activities to which the notice relates shall not be carried on by or under the control of the person on whom the notice is served unless the matters specified in the notice in pursuance of head (b) and any associated contraventions of provisions so specified in pursuance of head (c) have been remedied.

(4) A direction contained in a prohibition notice in pursuance of sub-paragraph (3)(d) shall take effect—

(a)at the end of the period specified in the notice; or

(b)if the notice so declares, immediately.

Provisions supplementary to paragraphs 3 and 4

5.—(1) In this paragraph “a notice” means an improvement notice or a prohibition notice.

(2) A notice may (but need not) include directions as to the measures to be taken to remedy any contravention or matter to which the notice relates; and any such directions—

(a)may be framed to any extent by reference to any code of practice; and

(b)may be framed so as to afford the person on whom the notice is served a choice between different ways of remedying the contravention or matter.

(3) Where a notice which is not to take immediate effect has been served—

(a)the notice may be withdrawn by an inspector at any time before the end of the period specified therein in pursuance of paragraph 3 or paragraph 4(4) as the case may be; and

(b)the period so specified may be extended or further extended by an inspector at any time when an appeal against the notice is not pending.

Appeal against improvement or prohibition notice

6.—(1) In this paragraph “a notice” means an improvement notice or a prohibition notice.

(2) A person on whom a notice is served may within a period of 21 days from the date of service of the notice appeal to an industrial tribunal; and on such an appeal the tribunal may either cancel or affirm the notice and, if it affirms it, may do so either in its original form or with such modifications as the tribunal may in the circumstances think fit.

(3) Where an appeal under this paragraph is brought against a notice within the period allowed under the preceding sub-paragraph, then—

(a)in the case of an improvement notice, the bringing of the appeal shall have the effect of suspending the operation of the notice until the appeal is finally disposed of or, if the appeal is withdrawn, until the withdrawal of the appeal;

(b)in the case of a prohibition notice, the bringing of the appeal shall have the like effect if, but only if, on the application of the appellant the tribunal so directs (and then only from the giving of the direction).

(4) One or more assessors may be appointed for the purposes of any proceedings brought before an industrial tribunal under this paragraph.

Power of an enforcement authority to indemnify inspectors

7.  Where an action has been brought against an inspector in respect of an act done in the execution or purported execution of these Regulations and the circumstances are such that the inspector is not legally entitled to require indemnity by the enforcement authority, that authority may, nevertheless, indemnify the inspector against the whole or part of any damages and costs or expenses which the inspector may have been ordered to pay or may have incurred, if the authority is satisfied that the inspector honestly believed that the act complained of was within the inspector’s powers and that the duty as an inspector required or entitled the inspector to do it.

Restrictions on disclosure of information

8.—(1) In this and the two following sub-paragraphs—

(a)“relevant information” means information obtained by an inspector in pursuance of a requirement imposed under paragraph 2(2)(e) or (f); and

(b)“the recipient”, in relation to any relevant information, means the person by whom that information was so obtained or to whom that information was so furnished, as the case may be.

(2) Subject to the following sub-paragraph, no relevant information shall be disclosed without the consent of the person by whom it was furnished.

(3) The preceding sub-paragraph shall not apply to—

(a)disclosure of information to the Executive, a government department or any enforcement authority;

(b)without prejudice to head (a), disclosure by the recipient of information to any person for the purpose of any function conferred on the recipient by or under any of the relevant statutory provisions or under these Regulations;

(c)without prejudice to head (a), disclosure by the recipient of information to—

(i)an officer of a district council who is authorised by that council to receive it; or

(ii)a constable authorised by the Chief Constable to receive it; or

(d)disclosure by the recipient of information in a form calculated to prevent it from being identified as relating to a particular person or case.

(4) In the preceding sub-paragraph any reference to the Executive, a government department or an enforcement authority includes respectively a reference to an officer of that body or authority (including in the case of an enforcement authority, any inspector appointed by it), and also, in the case of a reference to the Executive, includes a reference to—

(a)a person performing any functions of the Executive on its behalf by virtue of Article 15(1)(a) of the 1978 Order;

(b)an officer of a body which is so performing any such functions; and

(c)an adviser appointed in pursuance of Article 15(1)(c) of the 1978 Order.

(5) A person to whom information is disclosed in pursuance of sub-paragraph (3) shall not use the information for a purpose other than—

(a)in a case falling within sub-paragraph (3)(a), a purpose of the Executive, of the government department, or of the enforcement authority in question in connection with these Regulations or with the relevant statutory provisions, as the case may be;

(b)in the case of information given to an officer of a district council, the purposes of the council in connection with the relevant statutory provisions or any statutory provision whatsoever relating to working time, public health, public safety or the protection of the environment;

(c)in the case of information given to a constable, the purposes of the police in connection with these Regulations, the relevant statutory provisions or any statutory provision whatsoever relating to working time, public health, public safety or the safety of the State.

(6) A person shall not disclose any information obtained as a result of the exercise of any power conferred by paragraph 2 (including in particular any information with respect to any trade secret obtained in any premises entered by virtue of any such power) except—

(a)for the purposes of that person’s functions;

(b)for the purposes of any legal proceedings; or

(c)with the relevant consent.

In this sub-paragraph “the relevant consent” means, in the case of information furnished in pursuance of a requirement imposed under paragraph 2, the consent of the person who furnished it, and, in any other case, the consent of a person having responsibilities in relation to the premises where the information was obtained.

(7) Notwithstanding anything in the preceding sub-paragraph an inspector shall, in circumstances in which it is necessary to do so for the purpose of assisting in keeping persons (or the representatives of persons) employed at any premises adequately informed about matters affecting their health, safety and welfare or working time, give to such persons or their representatives the following descriptions of information, that is to say—

(a)factual information obtained by the inspector as mentioned in that sub-paragraph which relates to those premises or anything which was or is therein or was or is being done therein; and

(b)information with respect to any action which the inspector has taken or proposes to take in or in connection with those premises in the performance of the inspector’s functions;

and, where an inspector does as aforesaid, the inspector shall give the like information to the employer of the first-mentioned persons.

(8) Notwithstanding anything in sub-paragraph (6), a person who has obtained such information as is referred to in that sub-paragraph may furnish to a person who appears to the person to be likely to be a party to any civil proceedings arising out of any accident, occurrence, situation or other matter, a written statement of the relevant facts observed by the person in the course of exercising any of the powers referred to in that sub-paragraph.

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