What is an enforceable undertaking?

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 below.

  • All expressions of interest must be made by email to the Enforceable Undertakings Team.
  • Applications must be made using the Enforceable undertaking Application Form.
  • If you require any further information relating to enforceable undertakings please contact the Enforceable Undertakings Team.

Related documents

Enforceable undertakings - Operational policy (PDF 138 KB)

Application for an enforceable undertaking (PDF 207 KB)

Enforceable undertakings practice guide (PDF 119 KB)

Enforceable undertakings - fact sheet (PDF 54 KB)

Enforceable undertakings - questions and answers (PDF 72 KB)