Protection in law for employees

Even though we have the health and safety at work act and the equality acts, new legislation should be brought forward to protect employees from infection and mistreatment in the workplace. Employers should not be able to decide what they deem to be "safe" or be able to use loopholes to avoid giving staff full protection and piece of mind. This is to avoid unequal situations in which employers flout risks to boost profits an to directly support and protect employees health and mental health. No employer should have the right to place employees in dangerous situations for self gain. A basic set of standards should be introduced. For example, access to a sink that does not require touching of surfaces or higher risk of cross contamination (a wash station that is in the work area and has unimpeded access). One shared sink away from the work area, behind closed doors is not acceptable, as this is only effective if everyone is 100% compliant with hand hygiene. Employers should not be able to force staff into high risk situations. For example, entering people's homes while working in the wider community. This is due to putting that member of staff at risk and the wider public as they may inadvertently be acting as a potential carrier of the disease, seeding it throughout the community. This should apply to non-essential services. Employees should not be forced to use/share equipment that may put them and others at higher risk, making it the employers obligation to provide the correct equipment. Example, computers, desks and tills etc. This would be to avoid hot desking etc. Equipment should also be deep cleaned regularly. Employers should not be allowed to take advantage of the shielding program to highlight who is and isn't high risk as this may be used as a loophole to force employees who are high risk yet do not need to shield into dangerous situations, or increase the chances of infection further unnecessarily. Examples include, placing more high risk staff in direct contact with the wider public or sending high risk staff out into the wider community, especially in higher risk areas (areas in which the transmission rate and death rate is higher than the national average, or at certain levels on a national scale). Staff should be provided the correct PPE at all times. It should be the employer who provides this PPE in line with current working practices for providing PPE under the health and safety at work act. Employees should have the right to challenge practices at all times. Time and time again we hear about firms ignoring rules and mistreating staff. Employees often feel they are unable to challenge this due to reprisals, this should be a thing of the past and a fair system of challenging this should be considered. This is a more difficult area as it can be subject to abuse on both sides. If employers do not follow a basic set of rules then a table of punishments should be defined as an insentive to meet standards. These are just a small set of examples. The main over all theme is protection of all employees and guidence for employers. The over all idea should be simple, robust and effective to protect us all.

Why the contribution is important

This idea should be put in place before anyone returns to work and to protect the key workers of our country from being taken advantage of. We have a right to personal safety and it boils down to our human rights. Our right to life, freedom and safety. These values must be upheld and protected, companies and industry should never have the power to dictate our rights to us an frame work should be implemented to protect us.

by Andy89 on May 10, 2020 at 12:28PM

Current Rating

Average rating: 4.3
Based on: 9 votes


  • Posted by Johnjul May 10, 2020 at 13:06

    Not forced to share computers/tills. Well maybe they’d rather sit at home earning nothing! what workplace doesn’t share tills? Totally ridiculous idea! Protecting the business protects their jobs, it’s not all about ‘self gain’. Our business won’t have a job for everyone we have employed in the past. we will put everything in place which is advised, consult with our employees and do whatever we can to protect them but there is only so much we can do. They WILL have to share computers and tills and sinks. They will be given a choice, if after everything we put in place they are uncomfortable with the situation they can forego their shifts in favour of those who want them. No work, no pay!
  • Posted by Chatterbox May 10, 2020 at 13:12

    Seems the priority is to open venues, zoos, shops etc to boost the economy. That in turn will give a false sense that this problem is over, therefore when myself and others return to work we need to be able to have legal backing to say we are uncomfortable with the office layout. Be it a large or small office. We have to be able to say that our desks are no go area for others and that an appropriate amount of space around our desks is a respected no go area and not be in a position where you are made to feel awkward bringing the situation to light.
  • Posted by Lbie77 May 10, 2020 at 13:32

    The top comment from an employer is exactly why we need this protection!! Shifts being taken away as a tool to force compliance. It looks like we're all replaceable and will be financially punished for wanting to be protected! If only one till is present and you have 10 staff that would usually share this till, is that safe or practical? No! So either that till is not shared, or deep cleaned every day and used on a rota. Employers really have all the cards here, I'm even more afraid to return to work now!
  • Posted by Scotland_is_flatlining May 10, 2020 at 14:59

    Even though we have the health and safety at work act and the equality acts..... The legislation already exists. There is no need for separate legislation.
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