Employment Rights Act 1996 (Protection from Detriment in Health and Safety Cases) (Amendment) (Order
Who does this apply to?
This Order applies to all businesses employing workers under any other contract (other than a contract of employment) who are not employees. This may include gig economy workers, contractors and other precarious workers.
Those workers who are not employees are referred to as Limb (b) workers.
When did it change?
The Order comes into force on 31 May 2021.
What does it mean?
The Employment Rights Act 1996 (Protection from Detriment in Health and Safety Cases) (Amendment) (Order) 2021 extends protections against detriment in health and safety cases to workers in relation to any action they may take to protect themselves or others where they reasonably believe there is serious and imminent danger in their place of work.
The Order aims to give additional clarity to both workers and businesses. It will also set out to protect workers’ rights and support workers through the challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Order amends section 44 of the Employment Rights Act 1996 (‘the Act’) to extend the rights in section 44(1)(d) and (e) of the Act to limb (b) workers (referred to as limb (b) as they fall within the definition of “worker” in section 230(3)(b) of the Act) as well as employees.
Prior to the Order coming into force, employees had the right to not be subjected to a detriment by their employer for leaving or refusing to return to their workplace or for taking steps to protect themselves in circumstances of danger which they reasonably believe to be serious and imminent.
The amendment in this Order repeals this and inserts a new provision that provides both employees and limb (b) workers with the right not to be subjected to detriment in health and safety cases.
Limb (b) workers will gain the right to protection from detriment if they are in circumstances of danger which they reasonably believe to be serious and imminent and they leave or refuse to return to their place of work.
Parliament May 2021