Safer, healthier, happier Protecting workers to rebuild our economy

Protect workers’ rights

Since 2022, a safe and healthy working environment has been established as a fundamental principle and right at work by the International Labour Organization (ILO).

But from the figures we’ve shared already, you can see that safe and healthy work is something which isn’t afforded to many workers.

Poor working conditions and poor treatment at work, including inadequate pay and discrimination, can lead to excessive working hours which causes fatigue and mental and physical harm.

This not only harms workers and businesses, it impacts society and our economy negatively through inactive workers and lost working days. This also increases pressure on the NHS for diagnosis and treatment, which in turn increases demand and adds to waiting lists. 

The UK Government has a key role to play in enabling us to protect workers. As a starting point, it must ratify key ILO conventions and develop robust legislation, national plans, policies and standards relating to safety and health which are monitored and enforced.  

This should include more focus on good physical and mental health at work and better access to occupational health provision, something which is critical in tackling challenges such as an ageing workforce and unprecedented levels of long-term illness.  

Our call to action
Follow through on the UK’s commitment to provide a safe and healthy working environment as a basic right for everyone, including endorsing and fully implementing related international OSH conventions. This must cover all workers, irrespective of their status, including non-permanent ‘gig’ workers and those in supply chains.