When you have secured a job that pays the bills and provides you with a good quality of life, it can be difficult to speak out about injustices that you might face on the job. After all, you don’t want to jeopardize your position. However, it’s extremely important to remember that you have the right to feel safe and secure in your workplace. You’re likely to spend a large portion of your life here and the least you can expect is physical safety, financial safety, and to be treated as a valued member of your employer’s workforce.
The best way to ensure this is to be fully aware of your rights as an employee. Many employers are reluctant to voluntarily hold their hands up to mistakes or mistreatment of their own accord. Admitting to their faults could cost them financially and encourage people to doubt their authority and abilities. This is why you may need to be a little more proactive and pull them up on problems yourself. Here are a couple of areas that you should be aware of in particular.
First and foremost, you have the right to be physically safe when carrying out your work or operating in your workspace. Your employer should ensure that you are fully trained in any physical activity that you may be expected to carry out. They need to make sure that you are provided with any clothing or equipment such as first responder gear to carry your work out safely. They also need to guarantee that the environment you are working in is free of danger.
You cannot be discriminated against in the workplace for any protected characteristics. These include age, sex, gender, sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity, marital or civil partnership status, pregnancy, maternity leave, or being or becoming a transgender person.
When you are employed your employer has a duty of care over you. In order to make a claim of negligence, you must first supply evidence that the person you are prosecuting owed you a duty of care, that they were in breach of that duty, that this breach of duty caused you harm or damage and that the resultant harm or damage was definitely caused by the defendant’s negligence. This can get pretty difficult, as actually proving these points requires in-depth legal knowledge and each step has to be thoroughly examined. However, if you feel that your employer has breached their duty of care, you can work hand in hand with a lawyer to ensure that your rights are maintained and that your employer is brought to justice.
If you find that your employer is in breach of any of these duties, you must pull them up on it. If they are unaware, they must be informed. If they are willfully breaking their expected code of conduct, they need to be brought to justice. By ensuring this happens, you secure not only your own safety but your coworkers’ safety too!