Agreement on new and improved occupational safety and health initiatives and orderly labour-market conditions

April 2019

The government (Denmark's Liberal Party, Liberal Alliance and the Conservative People's Party), the Social Democratic Party, the Danish People's Party, the Alternative, the Danish Social-Liberal Party and the Socialist People's Party agree to enhance and reorganise Danish safety and health initiatives and to strengthen initiatives for orderly conditions on the labour market.

It should be safe, secure and healthy to go to work in Denmark. And this holds true for many workplaces; not only to benefit the workplace, but also society and not least the individual employee, who can look forward to a long and good life at work.

Despite this, many become worn out or ill because of their work. In 2018, about 15% of those in work reported that they were exposed to psychological strain and that they also experienced symptoms of stress or depression. Moreover, 10% reported that they were exposed to physical stresses and that they were in pain after work1.

1 Belastningsindeks for psykisk arbejdsmiljø og muskel-skeletbesvær 2018 (Impact index for the psychological working environment and musculoskeletal disorders 2018). National Research Centre for the Working Environment, 2018. 

Similarly, foreign labour is far too often found in Denmark working under completely unacceptable conditions.

Therefore, the parties agree that there is a need for stronger safety and health initiatives that better prevent people from becoming ill or worn out from their work. The parties also agree that there is a need for stronger efforts to achieve fair and equal competition on the Danish labour market.

In order to realise these ambitions, the Danish Working Environment Authority (WEA) is to be allocated an additional DKK 460 million up to 2022. These funds will secure a significant improvement in total funding for the WEA and they are an important bolster for efforts to promote a safe and healthy labour market. 

This agreement is based on recommendations submitted in September 2018 from an Expert Committee tasked to identify appropriate occupational safety and health initiatives. The parties to the agreement also have the following priorities: 

  • Higher priority for orderly conditions on the labour market
  • More sector-oriented inspection campaigns, with focus on burnout and fatigue
  • New tools for psychological working environment initiatives
  • Clear regulations on occupational safety and health
  • Regulations for children and young people
  • More focus on chemicals

The parties agree that, during the 2019/2020 parliamentary session, a Bill is to be submitted to implement the legislative amendments necessary for the initiatives to enter into force on 1 January 2020.

The parties agree on safety and health initiatives and orderly conditions, including the financial framework for the WEA, which cannot be reduced without support from the parties to the agreement. However, like other government institutions, during the agreement period the WEA will be subject to general technical corrections and general cross-cutting efficiency initiatives in connection with Finance Act processes etc. A majority of the Danish Parliament (Folketing) can, without support from the parties to the agreement, add additional resources to the WEA. This applies to funds for occupational safety and health initiatives and funds for orderly conditions. 

The agreement replaces the previous political agreement on occupational safety and health, see Annex 1

Annual status meetings will be held between the parties on progress with the initiatives in the political agreement, and the Employment Committee will be briefed.

Safety and health goals to be closer to workplaces

The parties agree that the social partners should take more responsibility for safety and health initiatives in Denmark by being involved in setting and following up on safety and health goals. This will make the goals relevant and it will promote a common focus and common efforts in occupational safety and health work. Furthermore, individual workplaces should have better tools for safety and health work.

The parties agree that

1. Common national goals should be agreed between the government and the social partners
The government and the social partners are to jointly agree prioritised national goals for occupational safety and health initiatives, and these are to set the direction for overall safety and health initiatives. Follow-up on the goals will also be agreed.

This entails that the government, and the social partners through their confederations, together are to agree on priorities for efforts, e.g. specific focus areas, problems or sectors.

The parties to the agreement are to approve the national goals agreed between the government and the social partners. In this context, the parties will prioritise relevant goals within e.g. chemical safety at work. The parties to the agreement will annually discuss the status of the national goals, including progress on meeting specific goals. 

Like today, working environment monitoring will be part of the follow-up on the goals for occupational safety and health. 

2.  Specific targets at sector level
In dialogue with the Sector Working Environment Committees (BFAs), the social partners in the Working Environment Council will convert the common national goals to sector level by setting specific targets, including any progression targets or specific models. The Working Environment Council will also follow up on target realisation.

The WEA and the National Research Centre for the Working Environment will supply knowledge and data to support goal and target setting. 

3. Realisation of goals at workplaces
All safety and health stakeholders should ensure that workplaces can achieve good results. 

Therefore, the parties agree that the role and work of the BFAs are to be surveyed to support safety and health work by workplaces. The parties are to approve the terms of reference and discuss the results of this survey and follow-up.

Furthermore, workplaces should have a better framework and basis for safety and health work. Workplaces should apply the required knowledge to solve specific safety and health issues or develop their safety and health work. Therefore, it must be clear to workplaces where they can seek external advice so that small workplaces in particular are motivated to seek out the necessary knowledge. Similarly, the statutory risk assessment (APV) will be set up as a digital solution that workplaces can use. 

Finally, a temporary committee will be set up, consisting of the social partners, experts and the Danish Ministry of Employment, to discuss the potential for an improved safety and health organisation (SHO) system, including whether the safety and health training can be improved, and whether the risk assessment can be a more active tool in occupational safety and health work. Among other things, this will take outset in the evaluation of the SHO system agreed in 2015. The parties to the agreement will be briefed on establishment and work of the SHO committee.

Efforts by the WEA to be targeted and improved
The parties agree that efforts by the WEA are to be strengthened and targeted more at workplaces with the highest risk of safety and health problems. This will ensure that more workplaces with problems are inspected, and fewer workplaces without problems are disturbed.

At the same time, the WEA is to have more, and more differentiated, reaction options than today, so that inspectors have better tools to support different workplaces.  Workplaces that contravene safety and health regulations will therefore still be subject to control and sanctions, but it will be easier for workplaces with safety and health issues that want a good working environment to solve their problems.

The WEA is also to have more focus on supporting preventive occupational safety and health efforts at individual workplaces through proactive and differentiated communication initiatives.

The parties agree that

4. Targeted selection of workplaces for inspection 
An improved risk model is to be developed that can lead to more precise selection of workplaces for inspection. The model is also to help qualify inspection visits to workplaces and communication initiatives at workplaces. The WEA is to continue to follow up on all relevant complaints.

The WEA is also to continue to carry out inspections for specific reasons, e.g. investigations of accidents at work, and it will still be possible to select workplaces for inspection via a sample.

The new model for selection of workplaces will require development of a new IT system with more parameters that utilises a higher level of data and information from the inspectors.

5. Improvement notices can be supplemented with dialogue and guidance
Improvement notices issued by the WEA for contraventions of the Working Environment Act can be supplemented with dialogue and guidance. This will ensure that when a safety and health issue is ascertained, it is not only resolved, but the workplace is also motivated to further safety and health work.

6. Option for agreements to improve occupational safety and health
Workplaces that, on the basis of a specific safety and health issue, want to make an extra effort, are to be able to enter an ‘agreement process’ with the WEA to improve safety and health at work and solve the safety and health issue. This will help workplaces that are motivated to deal with the situation themselves, to do so, and it will help disseminate learning about safety and health issues and solutions to other relevant areas in the organisation.

It will not be possible to start an ‘agreement process’ if the WEA assesses that there is a hazardous situation, and the WEA will still issue a prohibition notice or an immediate improvement notice if there is due cause to do so. 

The scheme will be monitored closely together with the social partners, and the initial results of the scheme will be evaluated after two years. If it is ascertained that the scheme is not having the desired effect, it will be adjusted.

The parties to the agreement will be briefed on the evaluation and development of the initiative.

7. Consultancy notice adjusted so that it takes into account the different needs of the workplace
A consultancy notice is to be changed to a competence notice that takes more account of the different needs of workplaces for solutions. In future, in specific situations, for example in connection with many improvement notices, the WEA will not automatically issue a notice to procure external consultancy.

This means that the notice will require workplaces to apply the necessary expertise in the area, either by developing and using internal competences or by obtaining external consultancy. The WEA will decide what type of additional competence can be accepted.  

The authorisation scheme for consultants is to be retained. However, it will be relevant to consider any needs to modernise the scheme. 

The new scheme is to be monitored closely with the social partners, and the initial results of the scheme will be evaluated after two years. If it is ascertained that the scheme is not having the desired effect, it will be adjusted.

8.  More sector-oriented inspection with focus on burnout and fatigue
There will be stronger inspection in selected exposed sectors. This is because the overall building and construction inspection has shown that there are grounds for testing new sector-oriented inspection campaigns aiming in particular at the safety and health issues that characterise specific individual sectors. For example burnout problems; both physical and psychological.

Furthermore, the overall inspection in the building and construction sector is to be made permanent.

9. Coordinated efforts
The WEA is to conduct more coordinated efforts with the social partners and Sector Working Environment Committees (BFAs), targeted at specific challenges for selected sectors, and these efforts are to be reported to the public, so that stakeholders in the occupational safety and health field pull in the same direction and can together achieve better results.

10. Communication and digital support
Communication work by the WEA is to be far more proactive, targeted and differentiated in relation to workplaces’ different needs, and digital solutions are to be developed to support workplaces’ own safety and health work.

New tools to support efforts within the psychological working environment The parties agree that the psychological working environment is a key challenge for the labour market of the future. Therefore the regulations on the psychological working environment should be clear and understandable for managers as well as staff.

Furthermore, enterprises should take early action and prevent psychological working environment problems which are often complex and difficult to resolve. Among other things, this should be through the option of an ‘agreement process’, see point 6.

The parties agree that

11.  Executive order on the psychological working environment
The regulations for the psychological working environment are to be written in an executive order to clarify the current regulations on preventing risks in the psychological working environment. 

The executive order will clarify the current legal position, and it will be clearer for employers, managers and staff that, in accordance with relevant practice, the WEA will react to problems, for example problems with heavy workloads and time pressure, unclear demands, high emotional demands and the work-related violence. 

Preparation of the executive order will be discussed by the parties to the agreement in autumn 2019.

12. Training in the psychological working environment
Both managers and staff with a key role in occupational safety and health, e.g. health and safety representatives or appointed employees, will benefit from psychological working environment training to enhance competences within the psychological working environment.

Therefore, in collaboration with the social partners, the Ministry of Employment will gather and disseminate experience on training managers and employee representatives in preventing and dealing with the psychological working environment, e.g. experience from the voluntary management training programme for government managers that was agreed as part of the collective agreement negotiations in the government area.  

Safety and health regulations should be easier to understand 

The parties agree that hard-to-understand and complex safety and health regulations should not be a barrier to complying with the regulations at the workplace. The aim and content of the regulations should therefore be meaningful and easy to read and understand. How to comply with the regulations in practice should also be clear, through better guidance and communication of the regulations by the WEA.

The parties agree that

13. Clear regulations on occupational safety and health
Old regulations and guidelines on occupational safety and health are to be reviewed and consolidated so the regulations are more comprehensible and make more sense for individual workplaces. This work will be discussed regularly between the parties.

14. Orderly regulations for children and young people

It is crucial that young people have a good start to their working life. The regulations for young people's work are to be reviewed to see whether they can be communicated more clearly and simply. This will ensure that the regulations are complied with, and that unnecessary and unclear regulations are not a barrier to young people between 13 and 15 years old finding out about the labour market, being trained in professional practice and being motivated to seek training/education and employment. 

With the Sector Working Environment Committees (BFAs), the Ministry of Employment is to survey the regulations in the area for discussions between the parties to the agreement. 

Furthermore, there should be no doubt that children under the age of 13 years must be adequately protected when they participate commercially in cultural activities, e.g. in the entertainment sector. The parties to the agreement note that the Minister for Employment will enter into a dialogue with the Minister for Justice on this matter.

15. Survey of inspections at ports
The regulations for occupational safety and health inspections on ships in port are to be surveyed to identify whether the regulations in the area should be adjusted. The parties are to be informed of the results of the survey in autumn 2019.  

16. Consolidated executive order on systematic safety and health work
The regulations on formal safety and health requirements stated in the Executive Order on cooperation on safety and health, and the Executive Order on the performance of work are to be consolidated into one executive order to make the regulations clearer.

17. Easier access to occupational safety and health regulations
A new type of regulations communication is to be developed by the WEA to make it easier for employers, managers, staff, and health and safety representatives to find and use of relevant regulations and guidance materials, taking outset in the different needs for knowledge at different workplaces.

There are to be tougher sanctions for serious violations of the law 

The parties agree that there are to be stricter sanctions for failure to comply with occupational safety and health regulations. There should be an incentive not only to resolve safety and health issues, but also to prevent them, and it should be entirely clear that accidents at work with serious consequences as well as repeated serious infringements are not acceptable.

The parties agree that

18. Payment for inspections in the event of repeated infringements putting employees at serious risk
Employers must pay a fixed amount, see Annex 2, if a follow-up inspection visit again reveals serious infringements of the Working Environment Act within two years, and this leads to a prohibition notice or an immediate improvement notice due to significant risk within the same or a similar area.

Enterprises with temporary and changing workplaces will, like other enterprises, pay a fixed amount if a significant risk occurs at the same workplace (production unit), even if the repeated infringements occur at different sites. 

The scheme will be evaluated one and two years after taking full effect in order to assess the need for adjustments. The parties to the agreement will be briefed on the evaluation.

19. Higher fines for serious infringements of the Working Environment Act

Fines for infringements of the Working Environment Act leading to serious personal injury or death must be further increased. Furthermore, fines for repeated serious infringements of the Working Environment Act, are to be increased, see Annex 2.

The scheme will be evaluated after four years, at which time the initiative be fully phased-in. The parties to the agreement will be briefed on the evaluation.

Better cohesion between research and initiatives should be achieved

The parties agree that the safety and health initiatives should be based on the most recent research and knowledge. This will ensure efficient initiatives and improve prevention so that action can be taken before problems grow in severity. Therefore, it is important to fill any knowledge gaps, for example in relation to chemical safety at work or the consequences of night work, by drawing up a new national research strategy. At the same time, new knowledge must be communicated clearly, so that it can be translated into action by workplaces and stakeholders in occupational safety and health.

The parties agree that

20. National occupational safety and health research strategy

In collaboration with research communities and the social partners, the Ministry of Employment will prepare a national strategy for occupational safety and health research. 

Moreover, the parties to the agreement will be briefed at annual status meetings about the research conducted at the National Research Centre for the Working Environment, including initiatives inspired by this research.   

21. Stronger focus on chemicals

From 2020 to 2022, DKK 10.0 million will be re-prioritised annually from the Danish Working Environment Research Fund to research into chemical safety at work at the National Research Centre for the Working Environment, including research into limit values for carcinogenic substances. Knowledge about chemical safety at work, including knowledge about limit values, will be closely linked to work by the WEA. 

22. Improved knowledge about developments in safety and health at work and the impact of initiatives
Analyses and data on occupational safety and health should be utilised better in order to measure the impact of initiatives. This means that occupational safety and health monitoring will be linked closer to the inspection campaign and will be transferred from the National Research Centre for the Working Environment to the WEA, where, like today, monitoring will form part of the follow-up on occupational safety and health goals and targets, see also point 1.

23. Clear segregation of roles in communication activities
Communication activities should follow a more stringent and coherent policy, with clear segregation of roles between stakeholders. Therefore, the task of disseminating knowledge about occupational safety and health is to be gathered in one place. As a result, the Working Environment Knowledge Centre will be closed, and, in the future, all communication will be adapted and managed by the WEA.

Efforts for orderly labour-market conditions will be strengthened
The parties agree that efforts for orderly conditions in all areas of the Danish labour market should be continued and strengthened. Safeguarding fair competition, and compliance with and enforcement of legislation and regulations is a joint responsibility.

Since 2012, joint authority work has been carried out, which brings together the WEA, the Tax Agency and the police, and which aims to ensure orderly labour-market conditions.

So far, the work of the authority has been financed by temporary appropriations in the Finance Act. The parties agree to prioritise a multi-annual and increased appropriation for efforts for orderly labour-market conditions. Therefore, in the years to come, the authorities will continue their control and guidance efforts, while at the same time allowing more long-term planning and development of efforts.

This joint authority work will be continued, and the WEA's inspection and control of orderly labour-market conditions will be intensified. The parties agree to allocate a financial framework for these initiatives. Specific implementation of the initiatives will be discussed and approved by the parties in autumn 2019.  

The parties agree that a majority of the Danish Parliament (Folketing) will be able to allocate additional resources to the WEA, see also the introduction to this agreement.

The parties agree that

24. Joint authority work to ensure orderly conditions
The joint authority work bringing together the WEA, the Tax Agency and the police will be continued in the period 2020 to 2022. Police efforts will be prioritised as part of the coming multi-annual agreement for the police. 

25. Stricter inspection of large infrastructure projects
There is a need for increased focus and a more targeted direction for efforts by the WEA in a number of areas in which existing efforts reveal special challenges with regard to regulatory compliance. Therefore, the appropriation for stricter inspection of occupational safety and health in major building and construction projects, including infrastructure projects, will be extended.

26.  Strengthening the WEA's work to ensure orderly conditions
The WEA will strengthen efforts with regard to proactively visiting foreign enterprises and employees in the event of possible violations of the Working Environment Act, or if there are indications of other illegal conditions, e.g. human trafficking for forced labour.

This initiative will be coupled with a number of existing WEA efforts which need to be extended, for example a continued effort to check genuine establishment and self-employed persons in the construction industry, and continued strong focus on orderly conditions in connection with overall inspections of construction sites, including new IT support for these efforts.

Financing

The agreement is fully financed for the entire agreement period. The parties thus agree that the agreement will be financed through the following initiatives:

  • The reserve regarding financial management simplification will be realised in the period from 2020 to 2022.
  • Use of mandatory medical certificates will be adjusted to make it voluntary for municipalities to obtain a medical certificate for the first follow-up interview with long-term sick-listed citizens.
  • A total of DKK 55.5 million will be re-prioritised for the period 2020 to 2022 from the rate adjustment pool to special initiatives and to development of social initiatives for the inclusive labour market.
  • A negative budget adjustment of DKK 40.0 million annually will be implemented in 2020-2022 and released for the labour-market area in the 2020 Finance Act. The parties to the agreement will be convened to discuss this in summer 2019.

The parties agree to discuss occupational safety and health initiatives for 2023 and onwards before the end of 2022.

The parties to the agreement accept that the financing of the agreement involves a need to adjust expenditure caps.

Annex 1: Framework for the agreement, including existing agreements on occupational safety and health

The parties agree that the agreement on new and improved safety and health initiatives and orderly labour-market conditions entails the following:

  • The parties to the agreement are obligated to carry out the initiatives agreed
  • The parties will be informed about implementation of the initiatives in the agreement
  • Any requests to alter the initiatives in the agreement are subject to approval by the parties to the agreement
  • Initiatives not covered by the agreement will not be subject to agreement between the parties

The parties agree to discuss occupational safety and health initiatives for 2023 and onwards before the end of 2022. 

Existing agreements and agreements that have been replaced

The main elements of previous agreements on occupational safety and health, including prioritisation of safety and health initiatives up to 2020 and risk-based inspection, will be replaced by the new agreement. Consequently, the new agreement will replace:

  • Agreement on stronger health and safety initiatives - everyone is entitled to a safe and healthy working environment (2015)
  • Agreement on a new strategy for health and safety initiatives up to 2020 (2011)

Most of the initiatives in the agreements from 2011 and 2015 have been implemented in legislation, in WEA practice, or have been completed.

The parties to the agreement also agree that the following occupational safety and health political agreements are to remain in force in the new agreement:

  • Agreement on asbestos recommendations (2018)
  • Agreement on occupational safety and health for firefighters (2018)
  • Agreement on enhanced smiley scheme (2017)
  • Agreement on enhanced working environment certification (2016)

Annex 2: Rates for fines and fees 

Higher fines for infringements with serious consequences and repeated serious infringements

The size of fines imposed on employers committing material violations of the Working Environment Act is based on a basic fine determined on the basis of the seriousness of the violation. For violations that have led to accidents causing serious personal injury or death, an additional fine is added. By virtue of this agreement, the additional fine imposed on employers committing a material violation of the Working Environment Act leading to serious personal injury or death will be increased from DKK 20,000 to DKK 40,000 for punishable violations for which the basic fine is DKK 20,000, and from DKK 40,000 to DKK 80,000 for punishable violations for which the basic fine is DKK 40,000. 

So far, there has been an additional fine of DKK 20,000 in cases in which the employer has previously been fined for serious violation within the past four years, irrespective of whether the enterprise has previously been fined once, twice or more times over the four-year period. By virtue of this agreement, the fine for serious violations of the Working Environment Act will be increased by another DKK 10,000 for each time, within a four-year period, the employer has previously been fined for serious violations of the Working Environment Act. This means that the fine will be increased by DKK 20,000 in the event of one previous penalty (as in the past), by DKK 30,000 in the event of two previous penalties, by DKK 40,000 in the event of three previous penalties, by DKK 50,000 in the event of four previous penalties, etc.

After this, in line with current practice, the fine may be increased further due to any aggravating circumstances or other particularly aggravating circumstances, or due to the size of the enterprise.

Fee for inspection in the event of repeated infringements putting employees at serious risk

By virtue of this agreement, employers must pay a fee, if a follow-up inspection visit due to repeated serious infringements of the Working Environment Act within two years leads to a prohibition notice or an immediate improvement notice in the event of serious risk within the same or a similar area.

The size of the fee will be calculated on the basis of the existing average costs associated with work assignments at the WEA. In 2018, average costs associated with an inspection process amounted to approx. DKK 9,800 per case (in 2018 prices).

It is to be clarified whether the fee can constitute a taxable fee, or whether it is to constitute a fee covered by costs which should consequently be included as part of the WEA’s operating finances. 

Annex 3: Focus on chemicals 

The parties agree to put more focus on chemicals. This annex provides more details on initiatives in the agreement for the chemical area. Several initiatives in the agreement have to be discussed in more detail by the parties prior to implementation, and this will provide opportunities to put more focus on chemical safety at work. 

The agreement entails that the government and the social partners agree on common national occupational safety and health goals to be approved by the parties to the agreement. With the new target setting, chemicals, including areas related to chemical safety at work, could be prioritised when deciding national goals. Prioritising the chemicals area means that prevention of problems related to chemical safety at work will be a priority for the social partners as well as the relevant authority. 

Furthermore, the agreement will lead to stronger research focus on chemicals to fill knowledge gaps, for example in relation to chemical safety at work. This will be achieved through a new national research strategy. Furthermore, the agreement entails that funding for research into chemicals at the National Research Centre for the Working Environment is prioritised, and that new knowledge about chemicals is integrated in work at the WEA. Consequently, the agreement ensures focus on research into chemicals so that knowledge about chemicals, including knowledge to determine limit values, will be enhanced, and research and authority work will be more closely linked.

Moreover, the agreement entails a more targeted selection of enterprises for inspection, and there will be focus on challenges with chemical safety at work in connection with coordinated efforts. The WEA will thus implement coordinated efforts in selected sectors together with the social partners and the sector working environment councils (BFAs), for example, and these will be directed towards specific challenges such as challenges related to chemical safety at work. Digitalisation of risk assessments (APVs) will also include chemical risk assessments, and this will ensure focus on supporting enterprises in their work on chemical safety at work through better help for self-help when they complete their chemical risk assessments.

Annex 4: More tools for psychological working environment initiatives

This annex has more details on initiatives in the agreement on the psychological area. The parties agree that the psychological working environment is a key challenge for the labour market of the future. Therefore, the agreement focuses on the psychological working environment, both at workplaces and in initiatives by the WEA. These initiatives are to be enhanced with more tools. 

According to the agreement, the regulations on the psychological working environment are to be made clearer for employers, managers and staff. This will be by drawing up an executive order on the psychological working environment that clearly describes and identifies relevant regulations and practice for the area. Today, there are only few regulations on the psychological working environment in the Working Environment Act.

A draft new executive order will be discussed between the parties to the agreement in autumn 2019, with a view to entry into force in 2020.

Furthermore, there is to be focus on strengthening competences within the psychological working environment for both managers and employee representatives. This will be by the Ministry of Employment obtaining and disseminating experience on training in prevention and management of the psychological working environment.

The agreement will also provide the WEA with more tools for work on the psychological working environment. Inspection of selected exposed sectors is to be enhanced through several sector-oriented inspection campaigns, e.g. in sectors with problems related to occupational burnout. The inspections will aim at specific safety and health problems in specific sectors. Coordinated efforts in selected sectors will also be implemented with the social partners and the sector working environment councils (BFAs), for example, and these will be directed towards specific challenges such as challenges within the psychological working environment.

It will also be possible for workplaces to enter an ‘agreement process’ with the WEA if, due to a specific safety and health issue, e.g. within the psychological working environment, they want to make an extra effort to improve safety and health at work. This will help workplaces that are motivated to deal with a safety and health problem to do so, and it will help disseminate learning about safety and health issues and solutions through the organisation.

Recently completed initiatives regarding the psychological working environment

On 1 July 2018, an amendment to the Working Environment Act entered into force which empowers the WEA to talk to employees during inspections without others, including the employer, being present. The legislative amendment also gives authority to the WEA to carry out pre-planned group interviews with employees, provided these are justified for occupational safety and health reasons. The amendment has been implemented in WEA practice.

As a consequence of the political solution based on discussions on the recommendations from the Methodology Committee, since 15 March 2019 the WEA has been deciding cases on offensive behaviour that is not bullying in nature. Before this adjustment, the WEA could only decide cases on the types of offensive behaviour that were bullying in nature, including sexual harassment.