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Assess risks to domestic and household staff then take appropriate precautions

A recent court case has highlighted the need for all employers to ensure that employees, including domestic and household staff, are protected at work from risks.

 

The case of Tracey Kennedy has also focussed on the need to extend such care to situations when your staff maybe outside, in addition to when working indoors.

The Supreme Court of the UK handed down a unanimous decision that when Tracey Kennedy slipped on ice, her employers should have assessed the risk and introduced measures to avoid, or otherwise reduce, that risk.

The Supreme Court found the risk to Tracey Kennedy’s safety – slipping while travelling between client houses – was “obvious as a matter of common sense” and was known to her employers, having been previously identified. The lack of a suitable and sufficient risk assessment and a failure to provide suitable protective footwear to protect her from slipping was a breach of safety regulations and the common law duty of care.

Out shopping on your behalf, taking the children to school or collecting them, you should, on the basis of this judgement, assess the risk to your housekeeper.

If your gardener or chauffer is working outside, irrespective of the conditions, as their employer you must ensure they are working in the safest possible way, dressed accordingly and using appropriate equipment. If necessary, appropriate training should have been given, supported by certification where appropriate.

 

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