Extension of the Right not to Suffer Determent for Health & Safety Reasons Extended to Workers
The Government has laid before Parliament 'The Employment Rights Act 1996 (Protection from Detriment in Health & Safety Cases) (Amendment) Order 2021' which will confer the right not to suffer detriment for specified health and safety reasons under s.44 Employment Rights Act 1996 to workers as well as employees.
The Order follows the High Court's declaration that the section, which currently only protects employees, incompatible with the European Union's Health & Safety Framework Directive (No.89/391) in R (on the application of the Independent Workers' Union of Great Britain) v Secretary of State for Work & Pensions  EWHC 3050 (Admin) at the end of last year.
Whilst awaiting parliamentary approval, the amendment (which can be found at https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukdsi/2021/9780348220636) is due to come into force on 31st May 2021."
This Order amends Section 44 of the Employment Rights Act 1996 (“the Act”) to extend the rights conferred previously under section 44(1)(d) and (e) not to be subjected to a detriment in health and safety cases to workers, as defined in section 230(3) of the Act. Those rights were previously conferred only upon employees, as defined in section 230(1) of the Act.