All your employees are protected by the Employment Rights Act 1996, as amended, against suffering any harm because of any reasonable actions they take on health and safety grounds. This applies regardless of their length of service.
Employees, including health and safety representatives, should not suffer harm, for instance by being denied a promotion or being dismissed unfairly, because they:
- carry out, or propose to carry out, activities that you have assigned to them in connection with preventing or reducing health and safety risks;
- perform, or propose to perform, functions they have as union-appointed or employee-elected health and safety representatives, or health and safety committee members;
- stand as a candidate in an election to be an employee representative or participate in the election by voting;
- bring to your attention, by reasonable means, a concern about situations at work that they reasonably believe are harmful, or potentially harmful, to health and safety;
- reasonably believe a situation to be of serious and imminent danger and - because they could not reasonably be expected to avert it - they leave or propose to leave the workplace or any dangerous part of it, or if they refuse to return while the danger continues; and
- reasonably believe a situation to be of serious and imminent danger, and take or propose to take appropriate steps to protect themselves and others. This is to be judged by looking at all knowledge, facilities and advice available at the time.
You could be taken to an employment tribunal if you penalise employees in this way, see GOV.UK.