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Workplace health and safety

Working time, health and safety

All staff are entitled to work in a safe environment, where risks and hazards are properly controlled. However, your health and safety goes beyond the simple avoidance of serious illness or injury. 

Here you'll find a variety of resources to support and protect you while you help others.

Time at work, time off work 

Your health, safety and wellbeing are closely linked to the amount of time you spend at work – often in really challenging circumstances. 

Your contract will outline exactly what’s expected of you in terms of working hours, however there are important rules around your working time that must be observed too. If you’re concerned about excessive hours, follow our guidance on what to raise and when.

Your contract will also outline your entitlements to time off work – whether that be annual leave, time off for dependents, study leave or some form of parental leave (maternity, paternity, adoption leave and so on). Read our guidance around your basic legal entitlements, and consult your employer’s own policy for allowances over and above this.


Healthy workplace

Healthy workplace, healthy you

Our campaign supports you, your employer and RCN workplace reps to create healthy working environments and habits.

Your safety and wellbeing

We work hard to facilitate improvements to health, safety and wellbeing initiatives in workplaces across the country. Current campaigns include Healthy workplace, healthy you and Rest, Rehydrate, Refuel.

It’s important to remember your employer (or equivalent) has strict legal obligations to protect your health and safety at work.  In addition, there are specific requirements when it comes to your pregnancy or disability. We can provide you with advice around issues such as workplace stress, violence, safe moving and handling and lone working, amongst others.

If the worst happens and you suffer an accident or injury at work, read our advice without delay. We may also be able to help you with the costs of pursuing a claim for compensation if your employer was at fault – find out more here.


Raising concerns

It can be difficult to know where to turn if you have health and safety concerns at work. We’re here to help.

Here’s our guidance on how to raise concerns about risks in your workplace – whether they’re risks to you, your colleagues, to patients or to the general public. Consult your employer’s policies also, and make sure you maintain a paper trail of what you’ve raised, when and to whom.

We have guidance on specific areas such as staffing levels, violence, bullying and harassment, infection prevention and control to help you frame your concerns.

Call us on 0345 7726100 if your employer is failing to act on serious concerns you have raised with them.


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