Employers have duties concerning the provision and use of personal protective equipment (PPE) at work. From 6 April 2022, employers will have to provide PPE to all workers. On that date the Personal Protective Equipment at Work (Amendment) Regulations 2022 will come into force.
The gaps in UK legislation have come to the forefront since the COVID-19 pandemic. The Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain called for the government to take action. The new Regulations aim to rectify some of these issues by extending an employer’s duty to provide suitable PPE where there is a health and safety risk to all workers (not just employees).
Under the 1996 Act, an “employee” is an individual working under a contract of employment, whereas a “worker” is an individual working under any contract “whereby the individual undertakes to do or perform personally any work or services“. The scope of “worker” status is therefore much wider and includes, for example, agency workers or casual workers.
It is important that employers pay heed to the new Regulations, which come into force on 6 April 2022, and that they not only continue to provide PPE to employees but that they also offer such PPE to all workers where there is a health and safety risk.
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