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    Private GP Services & Occupational Healthcare in Edinburgh, UK.

    Employee Legal Awareness Day: Know your rights

    Employee Legal Awareness Day: Know your rights

    Posted on January 26th, 2022

    Do you know your rights? It’s a question we should all be asking ourselves on 13th February, Employee Legal Awareness Day. Workplaces across the country have undergone a great deal of upheaval in the past couple of years as a result of the pandemic. A lot has changed – from where we work to how we work. However, one thing that hasn’t changed is an employer’s obligation to look after their staff.

    And so, Employee Legal Awareness Day provides the perfect opportunity for employees and employers alike to brush up on the laws, rules and company policies that shape their workplace.

    Employers’ legal obligations

    According to the Health and Safety Executive, employers are bound by law in the following areas:

    • Employers must consider their legal obligations under employment, equality, and heath and safety law.
    • It is an employer’s duty to protect the health, safety and welfare of their employees and other people who might be affected by their business. Employers must do whatever is reasonably practicable to achieve this. This means making sure that workers and others are protected from anything that may cause harm, effectively controlling any risks to injury or health that could arise in the workplace.
    • Employers have duties under health and safety law to assess risks in the workplace. Risk assessments should be carried out that address all risks that might cause harm in your workplace.
    • Employers must give you information about the risks in your workplace and how you are protected, also instruct and train you on how to deal with the risks.
    • Employers must consult employees on health and safety issues. Consultation must be either direct or through a safety representative that is either elected by the workforce or appointed by a trade union.

    Knowledge is power

    Despite the emphasis of these laws falling to the responsibility of employers, it is essential that employees also take an active role in learning their legal rights and obligations. An employee who fully understands the rights and rules is better able to proactively participate in improving working conditions, and can express concerns regarding health, safety, and wellbeing in the workplace more effectively.

    To this end, all employees should be issued with an employer’s handbook which should contain information such as:

    • The rights and obligations of employees
    • The system of remuneration
    • Maternity leave, paternity leave, sickness, and bereavement policies
    • Notice period
    • Absence from work
    • Attendance and punctuality
    • Conflict of interest statement
    • Non-disclosure agreements
    • Use of mobile phones and emails
    • Complaint procedures
    • Disciplinary proceedings

    How the Occupational Healthcare experts at YourGP can help

    Employers have a duty of care under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 to ensure the health, safety and welfare of all their employees so far as is reasonably practicable. The Occupational Healthcare experts at YourGP can assist with this requirement. From health and wellbeing assessments and vaccinations, to sickness absence management, and drug and alcohol screening, we can tailor healthcare packages to ensure they meet the unique needs of your business.

    If you would like further information on how about the Occupational Health services at YourGP, call 0131 225 5656 or email occhealth@your.gp.

    After being written off by chronic pain team and their physios, and losing faith in the physio discipline, I had no expectations from Peter. I am amazed at what he has done for me. Although I still have my pain I, at last, understand what’s happening, why and how to best manage it. Peter has given me the control back. I recommend Peter to anyone I meet who needs a good physio.

    Lynn W Lothian – Peter

    YourGP is regulated by Healthcare Improvement Scotland – the regulator for independent healthcare services across Scotland. Healthcare Improvement Scotland accepts complaints at any time. Contact them at:

    Independent Healthcare Team
    Gyle Square | 1 South Gyle Crescent | Edinburgh | EH12 9EB
    0131 623 4342 | hcis.clinicregulation@nhs.net