The change is part of the HSE strategy to make sure that workers in the GIG economy have the same health and safety protection in the workplace as traditional employees.
Therefore, this regulatory change extends duties of the employer and employee to 'limb (b)' workers. This means businesses will be required to supply their PPE and the workers themselves will be required to use it in line with the training you provide.
Typically, the limb (b) workers who will now also fall within the PPE regulations will:
- Carry out casual or irregular work for one or more organisations;
- After one month of continuous service, receive holiday pay but no other employment rights such as the minimum period of statutory notice;
- Only carry out work if they choose to;
- Have a contract or other arrangement to do work or services personally for a reward (the contract doesn’t have to be written) and only have a limited right to send someone else to do the work, for example swapping shifts with someone on a pre-approved list (subcontracting); and
- Not be in business for themselves (they do not advertise services directly to customers who can then also book their services directly).
- Therefore, the changes will not affect self-employed individuals in normal contracted for service arrangements such as electricians, handymen and gardeners. However, you still have the responsibility to check they are working safely on your premises as part of your control of contractor arrangements.
- Put in bids or give quotes to get work;
- Are not under direct supervision when working;
- Submit invoices for the work they’ve done;
- Are responsible for paying their own National Insurance and tax;
- Do not get holiday or sick pay when they’re not working; and
- Operate under a contract (sometimes known as a ‘contract for services’ or ‘consultancy agreement’) that uses terms like ‘self-employed’, ‘consultant’ or an ‘independent contractor’.
- Understand the employment status of all workers in your business so you know who if affected by the change. Every business is different in how they engage work so this may be different to other businesses you are comparing to. Your own HR department is best placed to advise here;
- Take the opportunity to review your use of PPE and make sure that it is only your last line of defence for residual risk; not just used in place of more robust engineering control measures;
- Use the publicised change to focus on employees and make sure that where PPE is needed as part of their risk assessment, that they are trained and instructed in its use and care and know how to report damage or obtain replacement; and
- Check out the updated guidance on types of PPE on the HSE website.
Published on 5 Apr 2022