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Industrial Health and Safety

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 22nd May 2020.

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Photo of Seema Malhotra Seema Malhotra Shadow Minister (Work and Pensions) (Employment)

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps she is taking to ensure that complaints made to Health & Safety Executive on workplace risk are not prevented from progressing because employees are concerned about disclosing to employers that a complaint has been made.

Photo of Mims Davies Mims Davies The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

Holding answer received on 18 May 2020

Under normal conditions, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) would cover a site visit to investigate a complaint that cannot be disclosed, by telling the business that they have been selected for an inspection. However, during the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak, HSE has not carried out routine pro-active inspections and has therefore not been able to follow concerns unless the fact of the complaint being made can be disclosed. Now that movement restrictions have been eased, inspectors are visiting workplaces following up any reports or concerns about safety in the workplace including over Covid and ensuring compliance. On the spot inspections are expected to resume imminently.

For any disclosable concerns that HSE does follow up, it will always maintain anonymity if the complainant makes this request.

HSE has stated its policy about handling non-disclosable concerns in the first phase of pandemic restrictions on its web page for reporting a complaint where it also promises to review the position as the restrictions ease.

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