Many thanks for your patience. A good starting point is to look at The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and related statutory instruments, which impose a general duty on employers to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of all their employees. This includes a duty to undertake risk assessments and manage activities to reduce any potential incidents at work. In addition, under common law an employer owes a duty of care towards its employees, the breach of which can amount to negligence.
Your other rights will be linked to discrimination legislation, if your allergy can be classified as a disability. A disability does not just include physical issues in the traditional sense of the word and just about any condition can qualify if it meets the criteria for disability under law. In that case the employer would have a duty to make reasonable adjustments.
What amounts to ‘reasonable adjustments’ can have a wide interpretation and often depends on the individual circumstances of the employer, their business, the potential impact on other employees, the available resources, etc. Whilst legislation does not currently provide specific examples of what adjustments can be made, the following are examples that have been considered reasonable in case law over time:
- making adjustments to work premises;
- allocating some of the employee’s duties to others;
- transferring the employee to fill an existing suitable vacancy;
- altering the employee’s hours of work;
- allowing the employee to be absent during working hours for rehabilitation, assessment or treatment connected to their disability;
- acquiring or modifying specialist equipment.
This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the options you have on taking this further if the employer fails to resolve things, which I wish to discuss so please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service so far (by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars) and I can continue with that and answer any further questions you may have. Don’t worry, there is no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you