In this article we answer the question “Do all business have to have a health and safety policy statement?” Although, all businesses are legally required to have a statement of their policy towards the health and safety of their employees at work and bring it to the attention of these employees, not all businesses are required to have their health and safety policy statement written down.
So, how do you decide whether your business requires a written health and safety policy statement or not?
This depends upon the number of people you employ. If you have fewer than five employees you do not need to have anything written down.
Who is classed as an employee?
Under employment law, an employee is someone who has an employment contract. This does not have to be a written contract. According to the law, if a person accepts a job offer they have a contract with the employer from that moment.
Usually if your business deducts tax and national insurance contributions from their wages, if they are required to work unless they are on leave, if they cannot send someone else to do their job and they must work a minimum number of hours to be paid then the person is an employee. Part-time, shift and seasonal workers must be included in the count.
Do directors count as employees?
Directors are office holders rather than employees as their duties are different, however from a health and safety perspective, if the director earns money through the company it is best to consider them as an employee too.
So, do you have five or more employees?
If you do, then you need to have a written health and safety policy in place.
However, if you have less than five employees it’s important to note that this does not remove the obligation on you to have a policy and inform your employees about it.
You should consider how you can demonstrate that you are fulfilling these legal obligations in the absence of a written policy. To be honest, many small businesses therefore find that it is easier (and safer) to have a written policy statement in place, even those it is not a legal requirement.
Envesca offer a number of different level health and safety courses, all of which include details on the health and safety policy statement. To find out more about these courses simply click on the links below: