Your Rights At Work

Do you want to know your rights at work?

Got a boss that thinks he can try and pull the wool over your eyes?

Then keep my little guide handy and know your rights…

  • You only need to provide proof of illness after 7 days. 
  • You can have time off work and be paid for the following…

To carry out duties as a trade union official

To carry out duties as a trade union health and safety representative

To look for work if faced with redundancy

To receive ante-natal care

To have a baby, to take paternity leave, to take adoption leave or to ask for flexible working hours to care for a child

  • You also have the right to time off, but may not be paid, for the following…

To participate in trade union activities

To perform ‘public duties’, for example, being a JP, local authority councillor or school governor

To care for their children. People who have worked for their employer for one year have the right to unpaid parental leave. You are entitled to 18 weeks’ unpaid leave before your child is five, or if your child is disabled, before they are 18.

To attend to unexpected problems with dependants, for example, where child minding arrangements break down. A dependant includes anyone who reasonably relies on the employee

  • If you have worked for your employer for at least 26 weeks, you can ask for flexible working

You have to put your request in writing and there is a proper procedure that your employer has to follow 

  • Employers can monitor your internet usage – yikes! 

They MUST inform you they are doing this before hand though. They can also monitor phone calls, emails, faxes and by CCTV. If you find out your place of work has been doing this without your knowledge then get intouch with Citizens Advice who will look into it for you.

  • You are entitled to a written statement of your employment

The information should include your job title, your wages, your hours of work, their procedures regarding dismissal and grievance, your holiday entitlement, your sick pay and your pension scheme – if there is one. 

  • Your employer can give you a bad reference. 

It has to be worded very carefully and it shouldn’t hold you back from getting further employment. The worst kind of reference you can get is your previous employer refusing to give you one! It has to be accurate.

  • Waitress/Waiter or in any other profession where you can get a tip?

Employers can legally withhold tips from you. If tips are paid in cash then pretty much all of the time they are yours to keep, any paid via credit or debit card are legally the employers.

  • Days off

Night shift workers have different rules but for everyone who works days. We all have the right to do a maximum of 48 hours per week but we can opt-in to work more if we like.  We are also entitled to 11 hours consecutive rest per day, if you are willing to do overtime then you probably won’t get this but don’t let your work place exploit you.

  • Employers don’t have to pay you sick pay

If your employer has a sick pay policy then you will be fine, if they don’t then you can claim SSP (Statutory Sick Pay). However you will only be paid that after you have been off sick for 4 days or more. It also depends on if you pay tax to whether you receive SSP so some part time workers may not be entitled to it.

  • You are entitled to 28 days holiday per year

You entitled to 28 days holiday a year, this is based on a full time employee, part time will be less. Employers may make you take bank holidays in with your holidays, meaning you really only get 20 days holiday… Booooo 🙁 You can work out your holiday entitlement here if you are part time.

  • Feel as though you are being pushed out of your job? 

 This is quite complicated but if it gets that bad then you could leave under the grounds ‘constructive dismal’ which is where an employer has committed a serious breach of contract, entitling the employee to resign in response to the employer’s conduct. The employee is entitled to treat him or herself as having been “dismissed” and the employer’s conduct is often referred to as a “repudiatory breach”. You can also make a claim against the employer for this. I highly recommend you seek a lot of advice from Citizens Advice before going dow this route though.

Please remember this is just a guide and you can get the best advice from Citizens Advice. Please click here to go through to their employment rights section.

Another great website is ACAS, they can give you loads of help and info…

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