David Royden is a Partner with Laytons Solicitors and Head of Employment Law, Manchester, UK

Laytons Solicitors is a national law practice specialising in all aspects of Company and Commercial Law

Laytons Solicitors, 22 St John Street, Manchester M3 4EB.
Tel: +44 (0) 161 834 2100
Fax: +44 (0) 161 834 6862

Offices at London, Manchester and Guildford, UK


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Dismissal for taking action on Health and Safety grounds

Employees will be unfairly dismissed if their employer dismisses them (or selects them for redundancy when others in similar circumstances are not selected) because they:

  • carry out or propose to carry out any activities which they are designated by their employer to carry out in connection with preventing or reducing risks to health and safety at work; or
  • perform or propose to perform any functions they have as official or employer acknowledged health and safety representatives or committee
    members; or
  • bring to their employer's attention, by reasonable means and in the absence of a representative or committee with whom it would be reasonably practicable for them to raise the matter, a concern about circumstances at work which they reasonably believe are harmful to health or safety;
  • in the event of danger which they reasonably believe to be serious and imminent and which they could not reasonably be expected to avert, leave or propose to leave the workplace or any dangerous part of it, or (while the danger persists) refuse to return; or
  • in circumstances of danger which they reasonably believe to be serious and imminent, take or propose to take appropriate steps to protect themselves and other persons from the danger.

It is also unlawful for an employer to subject an employee to any other detrimental treatment on one of these grounds.

Whether or not the steps which an employee takes to protect him or herself or others from danger are 'appropriate' will be judged by reference to all the circumstances including, in particular, the employee's knowledge and the facilities and advice available at the time.

It will not be unfair for an employer to dismiss an employee (or subject him or her to any other detriment) if it was, or would have been, so negligent for the employee to take the steps he or she took, or proposed to take, that a reasonable employer could have reacted in that way.

There is no qualifying period of service, or age limit, for employees who wish to complain that they have been dismissed for one of the reasons described in this section.

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Employmet Law Procedures - view section

Employment Law Issues - view section

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