We’ve offered advice for employees on a number of occasions. Informing them of what it is they’re entitled to and what their employers must provide from a legal point of view. While this helps a great number of people, we didn’t feel like it was really helping the root of the problem and over time, after talking to a lot of companies, we discovered the main problem was actually a lack of knowledge rather than the unwillingness to provide the necessary facilities. To help, we’ve compiled an article offering guidance for employers up and down the country on the welfare provisions they must provide for all employees.
First things first, if you employ anyone, even on a short term basis, you must provide adequate welfare facilities for them, so far as it’s practicable. This means that while they’re at work, you need to provide the necessary welfare facilities unless you can show that’s totally unreasonable to do so when it comes to time, cost and physical difficulty.
Many employers struggle with the term “welfare facilities”, after all, it’s quite vague. What does it mean exactly? Well, by this, we mean facilities that are necessary to the welfare of your employees such as washing, toilet, rest and even changing facilities depending on the job you’re asking of them. It may even include somewhere clean for your workforce to eat and drink during their breaks.
Let’s take a closer look at the toilet and washing facilities you’re going to need to provide. We used the term adequate and once again we think it’s important that we take a closer look at this once more. Adequate means you must provide:
- Enough toilets and wash stations for the expected amount of people that will be using them. People shouldn’t find themselves queuing for long periods of time just to use the toilets.
- If possible, you should be providing separate facilities for men and women however, if this isn’t a possibility, then you will need to provide rooms with lockable doors.
- Facilities provided should also be clean. To achieve this with the least amount of fuss, we recommend tiling both walls and floors.
- There should also be a regular supply of toilet paper and a means of disposal for sanitary products.
- Facilities must be well lit and ventilated.
- Hot and cold running water should be available where possible.
- Soap and other washing agents should be readily available.
- The washbasin provided should be big enough to wash hands and forearms if needed.
- Whether it’s paper towels or a hot air dryer, a means of drying must be provided too and last but not least…
- Showers where possible.
A question often asked by employers, especially those on construction sites happens to be surrounding the subject of access. With staff often working in remote areas or places with restricted access, many find themselves wondering what to do. In a situation such as this, we’d simply advise the use of portable chemical site toilets and restricted access toilets.
If you’d like more information on your duties and legal requirements as an employer, such as the number of toilets you should be supplying or your duties for disabled staff members, please contact us today. We’re also available to discuss portable toilet hire regardless of remote or restricted access areas.