From 31st May, workers now have the right not to be subjected to any detriment by any act, or any deliberate failure to act, by their employers done on the grounds that either:
This marks a change to the previous position in the Employment Rights Act 1996 whereby this protection was only available to employees.
The term ‘worker’ has a distinct legal meaning. A worker is any individual who undertakes to do or perform personally any work or service for another party, whether under a contract of employment or any other contract. It is therefore wider that the term “employee” and will therefore apply to more people including the so called “gig-economy” workers.
What is detriment?
Whilst the Employment Rights Act 1996 does not define the term “detriment”, a “detriment” is an act or failure to act which causes the worker or employee a disadvantage (which is not a dismissal). Examples include: a failure to promote, bullying, closer monitoring and demotion.
What should employers be aware of?
In the light of the pandemic where health and safety is a particular concern to employees and workers, employers should be aware that if it is found by a Tribunal that a worker has suffered detriment in certain health and safety cases, they may be faced with having to pay compensation to the worker concerned. The amount of compensation that can be awarded is uncapped in the Employment Tribunal, so it could be a very substantial award.
If you require any further information, please contact Sabrina Rahman on 0114-228-3262 or Sabrina.Rahman@luptonfawcett.law or another member of the employment law team.
Please note this information is provided by way of example and may not be complete and is certainly not intended to constitute legal advice. You should take bespoke advice for your circumstances.