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Where do I stand legally as an employee when there is no running water at work?
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Where do I stand legally as an employee when there is no running water at work?

There is no running water in the entire building at work meaning there are no toilet facilities and there is no drinking water. What are the legalities of this (i'm in England working for a Local Council)? I'm looking for specific Acts of Parliament etc. Thanks *EDIT* I'm not wanting to sue anyone but I am thinking of making a formal complaint. It took an hour for the people in charge to make a decision on whether people should stay in work. Should that decision have been made immediately? Is it ILLEGAL to not have drinking water and toilet facilities in a workplace of approximately 60 employees? thanks

sounds like it was a temporary situation but they should have sent everyone home or relocated them to another department with working facilities. the only way to complain in this situation is as a group. Otherwise they will make a mental if not actual note of who is a whinger and couldn't help out in a bad situation, even though you have a valid complaint. Better still get the union to complain.

it is illegal to not have toilet facilities and drinking water under the health and safety act irrespective of the number of employees. the company could have one employee and they are still obliged to provide drinking water and toilet facilities. Contact the health and safety executive to see that this is enforced

Matt I
At the moment, I am representing a client who is in the same predicament as you. In NSW, Australia it is against the law to employ somebody without facilities if they work for more than 2hrs and 10 minutes in a day. Of course my client was working full time, and will be compensated highly. Good luck though.

Deb E
I haven't got a clue, but you've certainly got something there. It's disgraceful that in modern England even the local government can't get the basics right. I am pretty sure that you have a case here. Though I would say this, if you are planning on suing them, remember that the local authorities have a limited budget & it is very rare, even in cases where people have had an accident claim against them, to get a pay out. Also any money you might get as a result of a claim will have come out of the public purse, so it is everyone within that constituency that has paid out for your claim, within their taxes. Also have you asked for these provisions to be supplied? If you have & you have been met with a stone wall, try again. Maybe you could have a meeting with your superiors & your other work colleagues to address the problems. I am pretty sure that any court of law will have expected you to have done all this before any claims are sought after.

Thirsty, I should think!

where are you working?

One statute that might be useful is the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 but you would need someone to review your situation and the Act to see if it is relevant to your situation. Best advice is to raise the issue with your union about working conditions as they would have the resources to address the issue with your employer.

HEALTH AND SAFETY AT WORK ACT Sanitary conveniences and washing facilities Suitable and sufficient sanitary conveniences and washing facilities should be provided at readily accessible places. They and the rooms containing them should be kept clean and be adequately ventilated and lit. Washing facilities should have running hot and cold or warm water, soap and clean towels or other means of cleaning or drying. If required by the type of work, showers should also be provided. Men and women should have separate facilities unless each facility is in a separate room with a lockable door and is for use by only one person at a time. Drinking water An adequate supply of high-quality drinking water, with an upward drinking jet or suitable cups, should be provided. Water should only be provided in refillable enclosed containers where it cannot be obtained directly from a mains supply. The containers should be refilled at least daily (unless they are chilled water dispensers where the containers are returned to the supplier for refilling). Bottled water/water dispensing systems may still be provided as a secondary source of drinking water. Drinking water does not have to be marked unless there is a significant risk of people drinking non-drinking water.

Becky M
Try employmentlawdirect.co.uk (no, it isnt a dodgy link!!) How many employees are there? You have to have toilets and refreshent facilities if there are over a certain amount. I mean, omg, how do they expect no one to go to the toilet all day!!

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