What laws protect me from threats and violence at work?

Your employer owes you a general duty of care to protect you from threats and violence at work. There are also five pieces of specific health and safety legislation that extend to violence at work:

For official advice and publications, including guidance for employers, see the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) web pages on violence in the workplace.

Employers may also owe you duties under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997.

Employers are also obliged to protect you from harassment, although since October 2013, this no longer applies to harassment by third parties such as customers or other members of the public, as this has been repealed from the Equality Act 2010.

The Act protects you against harassment and victimisation on grounds of sex, sexual orientation, trans-sexuality, marriage, civil partnership, pregnancy, maternity, race, nationality, disability, religion and belief, and age. In Northern Ireland, protection extends to harassment and victimisation on grounds of political opinion.

Note: This content is provided as general background information and should not be taken as legal advice or financial advice for your particular situation. Make sure to get individual advice on your case from your union, a source on our free help page or an independent financial advisor before taking any action.

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