Workers! Know Your Rights

know-your-rightsIt's a lot of information to take in, but everyone should know their employment law rights. There are two types: statutory (laid down by the government) and contractual (signed off by your employer). This article mainly discusses statutory rights - it's the bare minimum your employer should offer you. Any bonuses to this will be specified in your contract.


Every worker's favourite topic: holidays. If you're under full-time employment, you are entitled to 28 days of paid holiday a year. Often, 8 of these days are automatically allocated to bank holidays, leaving you with 20 days in your vacation sheet. Mostly, employers offer a few more days off than this minimum amount, but this will be specified in your contract.


You have a right to a written statement of the terms of your employment contract. You should certainly ask for one, if you don't own one already. Also, you should receive an itemised pay slip, which provides you with a wage equal to or above the national minimum.

Time Off

If you're part of a trade union, you have the right to go to trade union events. Parents have the right to ask for unpaid time off to deal with family concerns, after one year of work. Expecting mothers can take paid time off for ante natal care, as well as maternity leave. Fathers should also expect to take paternity leave, after their child is born. Likewise, if you have just adopted a child, you are eligible for leave to be with that child.


Your employer can't expect you to work unreasonable hours. The maximum amount per week is 48 hours, but they should always allow for daily and weekly rest breaks.


Workers have the right to remain free of discrimination in the office and he or she may work until at least 65. You should not be treated worse than others at work because of your gender, sex, race, age, disability, sexual orientation, or religion/belief system. You certainly shouldn't be facing sexual harassment at work.


You are entitled to a notice of dismissal, if you've been working for more than one calendar month. You can request written details of your dismissal, if you have been working for two years (one year, if you began work before April 2012) or if you're pregnant or on maternity leave.

You have the right to claim for compensation if you have been unfairly dismissed. You may also claim a certain amount of redundancy pay, while you look for a new job.

Blowing The Whistle

It's always difficult to ‘tell on' your colleagues, but in many situations it is necessary. Unfortunately, reporting a transgression doesn't make you the most popular person in the building, and if you are blowing the whistle on a higher up, this can have ramifications on your career. You have the right to expect no penalisation for reporting a fellow worker.

If you have any questions, please ask below!