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Should personal safety fall under an employers duty of care?

Employer responsibility doesn't clock out when employees do
Should personal safety fall under an employers duty of care?

By

Ameira Yanni

|

Friday, October 8, 2021

The brutal and tragic murder of Sarah Everard has sparked a national conversation around personal safety. 


Research conducted by the ONS shows that 81% of women feel unsafe walking alone at night. 


And, physical safety is just the tip of the iceberg. 


Honest dialogues surrounding psychological safety have opened up. With Brits spending around a third of their time at work, many of those discussions are amongst colleagues.


It begs the question, should personal safety fall under an employers duty of care beyond working hours? 


With nights getting dark sooner, the weariness of commuting home alone is creeping in. 


For many, that fear is all-consuming and can be a distraction from their working day. 


Co-founders of tech start-up Tahora, Ben Towers and Mike Rose, believe the onus falls on the employer. 


Last week, they implemented a host of safety protocols for their staff.  


Towers said, "from personal safety budgets to more flexible working opportunities in the winter, we're setting a new standard for employers. 


I feel it's my responsibility to make sure that my team feels safe in the office and out."


Rose added, "81% of women feel unsafe walking alone at night, and one in five men feel the same.


Both of these figures should be 0%. Everyone has a right to walk home freely. Everyone has a right to feel safe."


A two-year study at Google showed that psychological safety is the number one predictor of team success. 


Not only is psychological safety imperative for individual wellbeing, it massively affects productivity.


Support from higher-ups must be actionable. Offerings similar to Tahora's are easy to implement yet bear great weight when it comes to a sense of security for the individuals. 


For happier, healthier teams, follow suit and join companies like Tahora in putting personal safety first, in the office and out.