Employers are forgetting to look after the health of their part-time workers, say health and safety experts.
There is a clear divide in the health benefits enjoyed by full-time and part-time workers, according to health and safety specialist Croner. This is despite the duty of care being the same for the two groups.
On behalf of Croner, YouGov polled adults in Britain about the steps their employers take to prevent ill health in the workplace. Initiatives included the provision of health information; counselling, health checks and wellbeing initiatives.
However, part-time workers were less likely to benefit from these, with 42% claiming they do not receive occupational health services, compared with 28% of full-time workers.
Croner said the disparity could be the result of less occupational health knowledge in sectors that rely more on part-time workers; or less effective promotion of these benefits to part-timers, as those surveyed were more likely to say they didn’t know what was available if they were part-time. Alternatively, it said health benefits could be seen as “more of a perk than a duty”.
“These findings on occupational health provision raise several concerns,” said Stephen Thomas, safety technical consultant at Croner. “Employers have a duty of care to ensure, to a reasonable extent, the health and safety of all of their employees, whether they are full- or part-time. And that is true for preventing ill health in the workplace as much as for preventing accidents.”
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