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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:
- the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 (HASAWA);
- the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999;
- the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013(RIDDOR);
- the Safety Representatives and Safety Committees Regulations 1977; and
- the Health and Safety (Consultation with Employees) Regulations 1996.
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no longer applies to harassment by third parties such as customers or other members of the public, as this has been repealed from the Equality Act 2010.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.