Last reviewed 13 January 2022

Coming into effect on 6 April 2022, the Personal Protective Equipment at Work (Amendment) Regulations 2022 (SI 2022/8) amend the Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992 (PPER 1992).

Available at https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2022/8/contents/made, they extend employers’ and employees’ duties regarding personal protective equipment (PPE) to what are known as “limb (b)” workers.

This term comes from s.230 (3) of the Employment Rights Act 1996 where a worker is defined as an individual who works under:

  1. a contract of employment; or

  2. any other contract, whether expressed or implied and (if it is expressed) whether oral or in writing, whereby the individual undertakes to do or perform personally any work or services for another party to the contract whose status is not by virtue of the contract that of a client or customer of any profession or business undertaking carried on by the individual.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has prepared guidance intended to help employers identify whether they and their workforce may be impacted by the changes and which explains what they may need to do in preparing for the changes.

This information can be found here.

It explains that PPER 1992 places a duty on every employer in Great Britain to ensure that suitable PPE is provided to “employees” who may be exposed to a risk to their health or safety while at work.

The new amendment (PPER 2022) extends this duty to limb (b) workers.

Limb(b) in detail

The HSE guidance gives a fuller description of how these workers have been differentiated from employees. Generally, it explains, they:

  • carry out casual or irregular work for one or more organisations

  • after one month of continuous service, receive holiday pay but not other employment rights such as the minimum period of statutory notice

  • only carry out work if they choose to

  • have a contract or other arrangement to do work or services personally for a reward (the contract does not have to be written) and only have a limited right to send someone else to do the work, for example swapping shifts with someone on a pre-approved list (subcontracting)

  • are not in business for themselves (they do not advertise services directly to customers who can then also book their services directly).

It should be noted that these changes do not apply to those who have a “self-employed” status.