Every employee, regardless of the type of contract they have signed, needs to be protected from a health and safety perspective, the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) has asserted.
SHP Online reported on the organisation’s response to the plans recently outlined by the government to ensure that those employed on more flexible contracts are afforded the same protections as permanent members of staff.
Director of Strategic Development at IOSH Shelley Frost commented: “There is a fundamental duty on employers to protect the health and safety of all workers. Therefore, there should be no discrimination on the grounds of contractual conditions.”
If you have emergency response plans in place at your organisation, you need to ensure that you clearly communicate with various members of staff, especially those involved with responding to incidents,
whether they are a permanent team member or a contractor.
Ms Frost added that while there is a place for the likes of zero-hour contracts, to help support more flexible working practices that can benefit workers as well as businesses, these should not be offered to enable firms to avoid providing adequate and safe working conditions.
The UK government recently announced a host of measures designed to improve the country’s labour market. They were recommendations made by the Taylor Review, and include ensuring workers on any contract have the same rights from their first day in a job, to giving all employees a right to request a more stable employment contract.
Employers could also face increased tribunal fines if they are found to show “malice, spite or gross oversight”, while the government has also pledged to crackdown on organisations offering unpaid internships, but expecting that person to carry out the role of a worker.