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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 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 the HSE inspector through the appropriate enforcement procedure.