Welfare Facilities at Work

Published: Wednesday, 15th April 2020

It is a legal requirement for employers to provide suitable and sufficient welfare facilities for their employees.

This covers a variety of things including access to toilets, hand washing facilities, changing rooms and storage for non-work outdoor clothes and personal belongings.

Historically this has been aimed at the need to provide facilities for employees but not necessarily for visitors to workplaces. The Coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the importance of high standards of personal hygiene and it is important for all businesses to play their part.

The restrictions imposed by the Coronavirus pandemic have resulted in a significant increase in the number of vehicles making deliveries to businesses; often to businesses that haven’t previously relied upon the number and frequency of deliveries. 

The vast majority of businesses have responded to the crisis in the right way and have allowed visiting drivers to use their welfare facilities. However, we have heard some worrying reports that drivers haven’t been allowed to use the welfare facilities at the premises to which they are making deliveries. Not only is this against the law but in the current climate it’s not the sensible thing to do either.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has issued advice on this matter and reinforced the importance of access to welfare facilities in the fight against the spread of Coronavirus .

  • All drivers must have access to welfare facilities in the premises they visit as part of their work.
  • Those employers who already provide reasonable access to toilets and handwashing facilities should continue to do so.
  • With the latest advice for hands to be washed regularly, failure to allow access to welfare facilities may increase the risk of the COVID-19 infection spreading.

The Health and Safety Executive provides more information about welfare facilities at work and driver working hours