PPE at Work Regulations to be updated

From 6 April 2022, the Regulations on wearing PPE at work are changing. The updated Regulations will apply to all employers in Great Britain in a wide range of sectors and industries. Mark Littlejohns sums up what you need to know.

UK health and safety legislation does not currently have a definition of a worker similar to that found in section 230(3) of the Employment Rights Act 1996.

The ‘new’ PPE Regulations addresses this and creates its own definition of ‘worker’ as:

‘an individual who has entered into or works under:

1. a contract of employment; or

2. any other contract, whether express or implied and (if it is express) whether oral or in writing, whereby the individual undertakes to do or perform personally any work or services for another party to the contract whose status is not by virtue of the contract that of a client or customer of any profession or business undertaking carried on by the individual;

and any references to a worker’s contract shall be construed accordingly.’

Generally, workers who come under the second point, and were not previously covered by the Regulations, include those that:

  • Carry out casual or irregular work for one or more organisations
  • After 1 month of continuous service, receive holiday pay but not 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)
  • Are not in business for themselves (they do not advertise services directly to customers who can then also book their services directly).

It should be noted that these amendments do not apply to those who have a ‘self-employed’ status.

The updated Regulations do not provide for any additional duties; rather they extend existing duties to a wider group of workers, defined to include those who have more casual employment relationships than contracted employees.

Workers are still required to use any PPE supplied to them properly following training and instruction from their employer.