Last reviewed 4 June 2020

Under new reporting guidance from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), employers must make a judgement based on the information available as to whether a confirmed case of Covid-19 in an employee is likely to have been caused by occupational exposure.

According to the Freight Transport Association (FTA), which has lobbied for the change, this amendment to RIDDOR (the Reporting of Injuries Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013) provides employers with flexibility to decide if submitting a report is required.

Director of Policy, Elizabeth de Jong, said that the change would avoid penalising businesses unfairly as they restart or scale up their operations under the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Following constructive discussions with HSE,” she explained, “FTA is pleased that the safety body has listened to the concerns of our members and amended its RIDDOR guidance to provide employers with greater flexibility to decide whether a confirmed Covid-19 case is likely to be due to occupational exposure, and as such, requires the submission of a report.”

Operators were concerned that the lack of clarity on the guidance would have left them vulnerable to excessive or unfair litigation, Ms de Jong went on, as well as facing an administrative burden when resources are already strained.

RIDDOR puts duties on employers, the self-employed and people in control of work premises to report occupational diseases, including Covid-19, among the workforce.

“FTA is fully committed to a safe and efficient return to work for all businesses across the UK economy, and especially within the logistics sector,” Ms de Jong said. “A successful return to work must be built on trust and confidence right across business; we are grateful to HSE for adapting its guidance so we can get the UK back to work safely, effectively and quickly.”

See www.hse.gov.uk/news/riddor-reporting-coronavirus.htm for details of the HSE guidance.