Health and Safety rights have been extended so that both workers as well as employees can now bring a claim for detriment as a result of having raised health and safety issues at work. In particular having reasonably refused to work in a place or having removed themselves from a place where they reasonably believed that being at work would place them or someone else (such as a household member) in serious imminent danger.
This particular right was very rarely used but the circumstances of the Covid pandemnic means it has increased in use in claims.
Employers have a duty to provide a safe place and safe systems of work. As a very minimum employers should have in place a risk assessment and ensure that steps are practically taken to minimise those risks.
As employees and workers are encouraged in the next weeks and months these rights may be raised more often by employees and workers who are concerned about returning to the workplace.
The key for employers is to communicate – explain and demonstrate the safety measure that have been implemented to keep staff safe.
For more information regarding employment rights contact a member of employment law team on 01384 811 811