What are your Rights as an Employee of a Business?

When you sign up to work for a business, you do so on the condition that you enjoy certain protections under UK law. If your employer fails to protect your rights, then you’re entitled to legal redress. The UK is filled with employment law solicitors, for whom protecting workers is a full-time job. But many workers in the UK don’t have an in-depth knowledge of the law, and might not understand when they’re being treated illegally. Let’s run through a few of the big ones.

Contract

If you’re an employee then you should have a written statement of employment particulars, this document will outline what you’re expected to do, and what rights you’ll be accorded. If you aren’t given one of these, then alarm bells should start ringing.

Payslips

Your pay should be recorded in slips. These are there to provide reference, and to ensure that you aren’t being exploited. Deductions should be clearly spelled out.

Minimum Wage

In the UK, there are several tiers of minimum wage to worry about, with the wage for those twenty-five and older coming in at more than the wage for younger employees and apprentices. It changes at the end of every financial year. You’ll find a breakdown on the ACAS site. The highest bracket was called the ‘living wage’ when first introduced by George Osbourne; it’s not to be confused with the rate set out by the Living Wage Foundation, which is markedly higher, but voluntary.

Sick, Holiday and Parental Leave

You’re legally entitled to 5.6 weeks of paid leave if you’re a full-time employee, with part-time employees receiving a proportional level. Women are entitled to take fifty-two weeks of statutory maternity leave.

Reasonable Working Hours

Employers can’t force you to work round-the-clock. You have a right to weekly and daily rest breaks. This means a break of at least twenty minutes to eat and drink, every day. You’ll also need to take a day off once every seven days. If you want to work more than forty-eight hours a week, you’ll need to confirm it in writing.

Anti-discrimination

You’re protected against discrimination on the basis of a series of protected characteristics. These include age, disability, race, sex, and religion. Discrimination might mean being passed over for promotion, being paid less than other workers who do the same job, or being harassed in the workplace.

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