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Enforceable undertakings
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Enforceable undertakings

An enforceable undertaking is an agreement between WorkSafe and a duty holder made under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 (HSWA). It is entered into voluntarily by the duty holder following a breach (including an alleged breach) of HSWA and, once in place, is legally binding.  It is generally used as an alternative to prosecution.

An enforceable undertaking should not be viewed as an easy option.  The agreement details actions the duty holder will undertake to respond to the contravention. These actions are expected to:

  • support progressively higher standards of work health and safety for the benefit of the
    • workers and/or work and/or workplace
    • wider industry or sector, and
    • community
  • remedy the harm caused to any victim(s),and
  • support us to meet our strategic priorities.

We do not impose an enforceable undertaking on a duty holder and will not offer it.  If a duty holder would like us to consider an enforceable undertaking, they must first express interest to us.  

Before considering an application, we will need to:

  • complete the investigation
  • decide whether a prosecution is an appropriate response to the contravention, and
  • decide if we think the contravention amounts to an offence against section 47 of HSWA.

We will then conduct an assessment to determine whether an enforceable undertaking might be a suitable outcome in the circumstances. After this, we will let the duty holder know we are ready to consider an application. Full information about enforceable undertakings can be found in the links on the left of this page.

Last updated 26 July 2017


On Monday 4 April 2016, the New Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 (HSWA) came into effect.

HSWA repeals the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992, with immediate effect.

All references to the 1992 Act on this website and within our guidance will be progressively removed.