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What are my employer's common-law duties?

For employers, the main common-law duties concerned with your health and safety are:

  • a duty of care – your employer must take reasonable care of your safety, avoid exposing you to any unnecessary risks and ensure a safe system of work; and
  • a duty to maintain mutual trust and confidence. Your employer must not, without reasonable and proper cause, behave  in a manner calculated or likely to destroy, or seriously damage the relationship of trust and confidence with you. In particular, this duty obliges employers to ensure you are treated with dignity at work, and to deal with your complaints fairly and seriously.