I have heard about a 'duty of care' on my employer. What is it?

Both the employer and employee have a common-law duty of care to each other and to other employees. This means exercising reasonable skill and care in the employment relationship.

In addition, the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 (HASAWA) requires employers and employees to take reasonable care for the health and safety of everyone at work, including visitors and other non-employees who use the premises.

A breach of this duty of care, by either the employer or the employee, could result in a civil case, or a criminal prosecution by a Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspector through the appropriate enforcement procedure.

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.