By Nadeya Hussain –
While your specific employee rights may vary depending on your job, there are a few statutory rights you should always receive in the workplace.
Your basic rights start from your wages, holiday rights, parental rights, to your rights of not being discriminated against or treated as less favourable.
These rights are there to maintain equality, with everyone following the same policies whilst receiving their entitlement.
In this article, I’m going to go over a few specific examples of the different aspects of work and what rights you have as an employee.
When it comes to your wages, including any holiday/sick/paternity pay, you should be aware of the rights you have.
First off, The National Minimum Wage is the minimum pay per hour almost all workers are entitled to. No matter your position in the workplace, you are entitled to the correct payment.
You also have the right to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) as an employee. You can get SSP up to 28 weeks with evidence.
According to the official government site, eligible employees can get an SSP of £95.85 per week. However, to be eligible, you must:
- Have done some work for your employee
- Earn an average of at least £120 per week before tax
- Been ill, self-isolating or shielding for at least four days in a row (including non-working days)
Maternity and paternity allowance is also available depending on your eligibility. However, for maternity pay, you can claim Maternity Allowance as soon as you have been pregnant for 26 weeks, and payments can start 11 weeks before your baby is due.
If your partner is having the baby, you can also receive paternity leave for either 1 or 2 weeks.
Your employer cannot refuse or completely cancel parental leave.
Make sure you check you are receiving the right amount as anything you receive over that you were not eligible to, you will have to pay back.
Double-check with your employer to avoid any hassle later.
One final tip is to make sure you get your payslips from your employer, which are legally required to have all the relevant details on them, should you need to dispute anything later.
You must not be discriminated against in any situation, especially in your workplace.
The 2010 Equality Act protects you from any forms of discrimination.
It is important to be aware of the different forms of discrimination that can occur. These may be indirect or direct forms of discrimination.
Direct discrimination occurs when you treat someone with a protected characteristic worse than someone who does not have that protected characteristic.
It may not be deliberate, but it is easy to spot. The most common example would be racist comments.
Indirect discrimination is more subtle and occurs when rules that apply to everyone are less fair to a specific group of people.
For example, if all employees are required to work one Saturday a month, this would be indirect discrimination against employees of the Jewish faith because Saturday is a religious day for them.
Health and Safety
The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 is the primary piece of legislation covering occupational health and safety in Great Britain.
There should be health and safety requirements in every workplace as your employer has a legal duty to protect you. You should be working in a safe environment.
The business should record any injuries or incidents. This is to protect you.
Business owners and employers are legally responsible for health and safety management.
Not all employees are aware of what their notice period is for their job. When you resign from your job, you must give a notice to make your employer aware of your departure from the business.
The typical notice period ranges from a week to one month; however, it depends on how long you have worked in the company.
If you have been in your job for more than a month, you must give at least a week’s notice. However, make sure you check your employment contract to find out the employer’s policy as there are rules regarding providing a notice.
On the flip side, if the company makes you redundant or otherwise terminates your employment, they must also give you a notice period before your employment ends. Again this can vary as follows:
- At least one week’s notice if employed between one month and two years
- One week notice for each year if employed between 2 and 12 years
- Twelve week’s notice if employed for 12 years or more.
Once again check your contract to see what you are required, which includes redundancy pay.
These are just a few simple examples of what to know in regards to your rights in the workplace. No one should feel abused or discriminated against in the workplace, so be sure to keep up to date with any changes to the law.