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The workplace can be a scary place

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The workplace can now seem a scary place as Covid-19 cases rise, headlines talk of intensive care beds filling up once again and Greater Manchester enters Tier 3 restrictions, but what can you do if coronavirus is making you scared to go into work?

Health and Safety at Work

As a staff member you could argue that health and safety risks and non Covid secure workplaces are impacting on your ability to go into work, if this is a legitimately held view. 

If you raise concerns about those issues you may be concerned about losing your job.  These are stressful times for employees and their employers alike as both are dealing with something which is unprecedented. However, a responsible employer should be following the government guidance on making the workplace Covid secure.

Whistleblowing at work

“If you believe you have been dismissed as a result of raising that complaint, and the disclosure affects a group of people and is done in the correct manner, it’s a dismissal on grounds of whistleblowing for making a protected disclosure, which might entitle you to claim unfair dismissal even if you do not have the 2 years’ service normally required to make an unfair dismissal claim” said head of employment law, Susan Mayall.

If you are a Health and safety representative for the workforce then you may be entitled to make a claim to the Employment Tribunal for interim relief, in which an order can be made by the Tribunal that, for example, your wages are paid to you, until the determination of the matter at the final hearing.

This process is one that has to be undertaken very quickly, as an application to a Tribunal for interim relief (for the Tribunal to award damages) has to be done within 7 days of the date of the employee’s dismissal. 

Speed is of the essence for Interim Relief

The Tribunal will only make an interim order if it believes that the employee is “likely” to succeed at a full hearing, and not if it is only “probable”.

“If you believe you have been dismissed as a result of raising a health and safety concern and you are a health and safety representative, then time is of the essence if you wish to claim interim relief,” added Susan Mayall.

“In these cases a chat with an employment solicitor can put your mind at ease that you’re doing the right thing and I would always advise getting professional advice.”

For advice on aspects of employment law and health and safety in the workplace call Susan Mayall on 0161 785 3500 or email

Please note that the information and opinions contained in this article are not intended to be comprehensive, nor to provide legal advice. No responsibility for its accuracy or correctness is assumed by Pearson Solicitors and Financial Advisers Ltd or any of its members or employees. Professional legal advice should be obtained before taking, or refraining from taking, any action as a result of this article.

This blog was posted some time ago and its contents may now be out of date. For the latest legal position relating to these issues, get in touch with the author - or make an enquiry now.

Written by Susan Mayall


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