What are your employment rights?

by | 12.04.24

Everyone has rights in the workplace.  Employee rights are the legal entitlements an employee has to have.  You may have to be employed for a minimum continuous period of time before you qualify for some employment rights but here are 10 rights that you should know about.

You must receive a payslip

A payslip should be given to you on the day you get paid, or before.  It must show a detailed breakdown of the pay you’re getting for the relevant time period.  It should also clearly show the tax and national insurance that has been deducted and your tax code.

You must not be discriminated against in any way

Discrimination occurs when someone is treated unfairly in the workplace as per the Equality Act 2010.  The protected areas are 1) age, 2) disability, 3) gender reassignment, 4) marriage or civil partnership, 5) race, 6) religion or belief, 7) sex, 8) sexual orientation.  Discrimination can be direct or indirect and is not acceptable in any form.

You must have a H&S policy at work

Under the Health and Safety at Work act (1974) employers have a duty to provide a safe, healthy environment for their employees.  This includes providing facilities such as toilets, wash basins and clean drinking water, keeping the workplace clean, wel ventilated and well-lit and maintaining any equipment used.

You are entitled to statutory sick pay

Employees can get statutory sick pay (SSP) of £116.75 per week for up to 28 weeks.  You are entitled to SSP for the days you would have worked except the first 3 days you are absent.

Your are entitled to statutory maternity/paternity leave

Statutory maternity pay (SMP) is paid for up to 39 weeks.  You get 90% of your average weekly earnings (before tax) for the first 6 weeks and £184.03 for the next 33 weeks.  Statutory Paternity Pay (SPP) is exactly the same.  You can take SPP either for 2 weeks together or separately.  Women can take up to 52 weeks maternity leave and maternity/paternity leave may be shared.

You can request flexible working

From April 2024 any employee will have a statutory right to make a flexible working request from day 1 of employment.  If you make a request this can be refused, the main reason for refusal will probably be that it will have a negative effect on the business.  The employer does have 14 days to make a decision.

You are entitled to annual leave

Employers must provide employees who work a five day week with at least 28 days of paid annual leave.  This 28 days includes 8 days for public holidays.  You can accrue holiday entitlement during maternity/paternity leave and whilst off sick

You are entitled to a minimum notice period

A minimum notice period is the length of work time your employer must give you before your employment ends, or you give an employer before you leave their service.  Both of  these periods should be detailed in your contract of employment.

You are entitled to statutory redundancy pay

If you have worked for an employer for two years then you are entitled to at least the legal minimum (statutory) amount of redundancy pay.  The maximum statutory pay for a week is £700 and the maximum total statutory redundancy pay is £21,000.  How much you are due depends on how long you have been with your employer and your age.

You have protection against unfair dismissal

Employers must give a lawful reason if they choose to terminate your employment contract.  They must also give the agreed amount of notice in your contract of employment and follow a fair procedure throughout the process.  A fair dismissal occurs for one of the following reasons, 1) Your conduct, 2) your ability to do the job, 3) redundancy, 4) you no longer meet the legal requirement to carry out your job for example if your job required driving and you have lost your license.  You can also be sacked for other reasons outside these  including insubordination, but the above are the most common.  If you don’t believe your employers has a good reason for dismissing you, you can claim unfair dismissal but in order to do so you need to have been employed with the employer for at least 2 years.

So to summarise it’s important that you know your rights, if you are not sure if you are being fairly treated in the workplace you can call ACAS, they offer a free service.

Good Luck

Angela Burton