Sometimes it may feel as an employee that you have to bend over backward for your employer just so you can stay in the job. However, it’s important to remember that you shouldn’t work yourself until you snap.
Employers have a duty of care towards you as their employee and if they fail to live up to that then you may be due compensation for your work. You should also feel like you have rights within the workplace that you are entitled to. This article will elucidate a few of these so that you know that you are not being taken advantage of.
Safety in the workplace
It is your right as an employee to feel safe in your workplace. This means that your employer has to have minimized every possible risk to your health and safety to the best of their ability. This can be everything from ensuring that you have the right equipment to do your job, that the building you work from is safe, and that you have had the right training for the job you do. Importantly any equipment needed for your safety should be provided free of charge. Don’t hesitate to let your employer know this if you feel they haven’t done this.
This is something that has been treated laxly by employers in the past. It was part of a culture where it was weak to take a break and that you weren’t very good at your job if you needed a rest. Thankfully, this archaic attitude has been challenged and you are now legally entitled to a break. Overwork can not only cause you to be less competent at your job but also may lead to accidents in the workplace especially if you are operating heavy machinery. Always take your breaks and don’t feel pressured to work through the day.
Something that is taken for granted until they are taken away is the access and use of facilities. But not just any facilities clean, hygienic, and safe facilities. This includes having the right number of toilets and washbasins for the number of staff in the building as well as having a break-out area for you to have meals and breaks in. These need to be safe and habitable by being well maintained through regular cleaning and upkeep.
Every workplace must have a well-stocked first aid kit with bandages, sanitizer, and plasters. In addition to this, there must be someone in the building or on-site that has a certification and is trained in using the first aid equipment. Equally, you should know where the first aid kits are kept and whom you should go to in case of an injury. Depending on the type of work you do, this will determine what is needed to be kept in the kit as well as how many there are on your worksite. Know that you are entitled to this and ask your employer where they are.
Employee and Employer relations
You are more than just a workhorse with no rights in your workplace. Always make sure that you look after yourself and know that you are not being taken advantage of.