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What if I am victimised for questioning safety?

You have some legal protection from victimisation. Any employees or workers who are victimised for taking up a health and safety issue at work, whether they do so on their own account or as recognised safety representatives, are protected under the Public Interest Disclosure Act (PIDA) 1998.

In addition, sections 44 and 100 of the Employment Rights Act 1996 say that no employee should suffer a detriment or be made redundant for:

  • carrying out their legal functions as a safety rep or employee rep, or other functions previously agreed by the employer;
  • raising health and safety concerns with the employer;
  • participating in safety consultations with the employer;
  • leaving or refusing to leave a place of work in circumstances of serious and imminent danger, or taking steps to protect themselves or others; or
  • carrying out safety duties designated by the employer.

You can enforce these rights from day one of your employment. Whereas rights under the Public Interest Disclosure Act are available to both employees and workers, the rights provided by the Employment Rights Act 1996 set out above are available only to employees.