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A schedule for exit negotiations is key to workers’ wellbeing and safety

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World Cement,

The British Safety Council and the International Institute of Risk and Safety Management (IIRSM) joined together to urge the government to publish a schedule and structure for exit negotiations so that employers can develop plans which will assure safety, health and wellbeing of their workforce in the short to medium term.

In the letter to Prime Minister Teresa May, the advisory and campaigning bodies warned: “Uncertainty over the future work status of EU nationals in the UK is already causing anxiety and stress, which could adversely impact on the mental health of affected individuals.

“In sectors with a heavy reliance on skilled labour from other EU countries, such as healthcare, construction, facilities management and hospitality, there is potential for a skills gap to develop as competent workers choose not to work in the UK. Reduced availability of competent staff will increase the pressure on those that remain causing fatigue and potential for an increase in accidents and poor mental health.”

Employers in the UK urgently need a firm and clear schedule for exit negotiations to develop plans ensuring safety and wellbeing of their workforce. The British Safety Council and IIRSM called on the government to “prioritise publication of a schedule and structure for exit negotiations so that employers can develop plans which will assure safety, health and wellbeing for their workers in the short and medium term whilst the formal negotiations take place.”

For over 40 years Britain has been working hard to manage safety and reduce occupational diseases in the workplace, becoming a recognised world leader. Since the UK has voted to leave the EU, it is possible that there will be calls for changes to the established framework of legislation. “If this does occur, caution will be required to maintain current standards and protect the health and safety of workers in the UK,” urged the British Safety Council and IIRSM.

“The objective must be to judge each element of the legislative framework on its own merits and effectiveness, not just on its origin, in order to retain an effective framework which doesn’t place unnecessary burdens on business.”

Adapted from press release by Joseph Green

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