The people working for your organisation are your greatest asset.
Your approach to Duty of Care demonstrates how important your workers are. Duty of Care is a topic that carries legal, moral and ethical obligations for employers. As an employer, your obligations depend on what you are asking your workers to do and where you are asking them to do it, and this could be across international borders and in complex, high-risk environments. As Duty of Care touches all aspects of the employment cycle – from recruitment to exit, it adds even more complexity to how the different aspects are managed, monitored and reviewed in an effective way.
Legally and morally, it is vital to make sure that you have met all reasonable duty of care requirements for your employees. Your approach to this must be more than meeting the bare minimum and ticking boxes. Your employees must feel valued, safe and comfortable in their roles and by demonstrating your commitment to Duty of Care demonstrates how important your employees are.
At Duty of Care International, we work with a range of organisations in different environments. We know that an overall Duty of Care approach is both necessary and conducive to a safe and healthier working environment. A better working environment leads to employees who feel confident, supported and valued, leading to growth both individually and as an organisation.
Your legal liability
In most jurisdictions, employment legislation dictates that employers must exercise a reasonable standard of care towards their employees, volunteers and consultants. Employers must be aware of the risks in the work environment which are foreseeable from a reasonable person’s perspective and mitigate those they can and understand and inform their employees on those they can’t. Employers have a responsibility to ensure:
- Their employees are able to do their role in the healthiest and safest way possible
- They provide up-to-date information to each employee on their role and working environment, and are clear about the risks, the measures the organisation is taking to reduce those risks and any residual risk the employee may be exposed to.
- Employees know their responsibilities and vulnerabilities when it comes to their own health, safety and security.
The physical and psychological wellbeing of employees falls under the Duty of Care remit as tested in a Norwegian case in 2012. Stress-related or post-traumatic injury are becoming increasingly common in workplaces and courts are taking psychological damage just as seriously as physical damage, both during and post-employment.
Employers’ policies and procedures must reflect a Duty of Care relevant to the type of work and environment their employees work in and these will be used in a court or tribunal when assessing whether an employer has fulfilled its obligations towards its employees.
Due to the legal imperative duty of care carries, some of our products are reviewed by legal counsel, and stated accordingly.