Employees have the right not to be subjected to a detriment by their employer should they undertake certain action in connection with securing their health and safety, or the health and safety of others. These rights are set out in legislation in the Employment Rights Act 1996. In legislation, an employee is protected against detriment when in circumstances of danger that they reasonably believed to be serious and imminent, they left, proposed to go or refused to return to their workplace. An employee is also protected when, in the same circumstances, they take appropriate steps to protect themselves or other persons from the danger. This advice note explains this legal protection available in these specific circumstances in more detail. Also, it provides some suggested steps for members to take who are considering using the mechanisms set out in the Employment Rights Act where they have concerns regarding safety in their particular workplace.
First published 10 September 2021