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Safeguarding in the Workplace

CMS Vocational Training Hadyn Luke posted this on Monday 8th of April 2019 Hadyn Luke 08/04/2019


Safeguarding in the Workplace

As we have highlighted in previous blogs, safeguarding is about protecting the health, wellbeing and rights of others, in particular those who are vulnerable from abuse or neglect.

Often associated with child protection, safeguarding is also applicable to adults, whatever their age or background.

Within the workplace, employers have a responsibility to safeguard those who work for them. Employers could be liable for both their actions and inaction, for example not acting when an employee is being bullied or failing to support employees with mental health issues.

Who is safeguarding aimed at?

Safeguarding is applicable to:

  • All those under 18
  • Those aged 19-24 with an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP), a document drafted by the relevant Local Authority following an assessment. EHCPs are defined by the government as being: “for children and young people aged up to 25 who need more support than is available through special education needs support” (find out more at: https://www.gov.uk/children-with-special-educational-needs/extra-SEN-help).
  • Anyone who could be at risk at specific points in their life, for example someone who has suffered from a bereavement or who is under stress at home or in the workplace, as well as those who have mental health issues.

What measures should employers put in place?

Employers should have a safeguarding policy, which should be communicated to all relevant staff with clear procedures to follow.

This should include:

  • Training for all staff members, including those at the top level of management, on issues such as recognising the difference between workplace banter and bullying
  • Ensuring employees are made aware of policies, have a clear process for reporting any complaints and are supported in the correct manner after making a complaint

Procedures should not only be in place to deal with abuse, harassment and bullying but also for any special requirements that employees may have. Examples could be:

  • Allowing someone out of a meeting to take medication at a set time
  • Ensuring employees have ergonomically designed work stations to ease or avoid back and joint pain
  • Meeting the access needs of those with disabilities
  • Creating policies to reduce the likelihood of discrimination on the grounds of gender, sexuality, ethnicity, age or religion

Do we need a Designated Safeguarding Officer (DSO)?

While not a legal requirement, it’s a good idea for companies and other organisations to have a Designated Safeguarding Officer, especially those over a certain size and/or those that employ or have contact with children or vulnerable adults.

As the first point of contact for employees, the role of the DSO is to ensure the company has a safeguarding policy in place and is following it. They may be involved in creating the policy as well as enforcing it and should proactively monitor workplace wellbeing as well as responding to complaints.

While there are no specific qualifications for the role of DSO, it’s an important position for which it’s helpful to have a clear understanding of safeguarding procedures and responsibilities.

How can you work with CMS to safeguard your staff?

As a training provider, we are here to help you recognise, highlight, support and report any safeguarding issues that might arise in your organisation. Our Designated Safeguarding Officer, Hadyn Luke, can be contacted by email (hadyn.luke@cmsvoc.co.uk) or phone (01924 470 477) to discuss any questions or concerns you may have.

Find out more

We have a series of blogs on safeguarding, which can be found at: https://cmsvoc.co.uk/blog/category/safeguarding/

These cover a variety of safeguarding issues, such as:

  • Gambling Awareness
  • Vulnerable Adults
  • Fabricated or Induced Illness
  • Educate Against Hate
  • Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

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