Let’s talk about employment rights. A weighty subject indeed and when I started reading I thought it would be a nice easy post but boy was I mistaken. It’s a minefield so this may turn into an introduction rather than an in depth study. So from day 1 employees including agency staff have the following employment rights
- the right to a contract, setting out your main terms of work, such as wages, hours and holiday rights, how much notice you will be given to end your contract, and other information on policies (this can be in a separate document such as a Handbook) Interestingly – well from a HR point of view, I realise that may not be same in the real world, until the launch of the Good Work Plan in April 2020, a contract was only required to be given by 8 weeks of service. But I don’t remember a lot about the Good Work Plan cos I was living in a pandemic/lockdown – you??
- the right to be paid the National Minimum Wage
- the right to an itemised payslip – All workers, must be given an itemised payslip by the first pay date including gross wages, deductions and hrs worked, if that can change.
- working time rights (including breaks, paid holidays and a limit on the working week)
- protection from unlawful wage deductions
- statutory protection from risks to your health and safety
- the right to join a union
- data protection rights
- protection from discrimination due to a protected characteristic (i.e. age, disability, pregnancy and maternity, marital or civil partnership status, race, sex, sexual orientation and religion or belief)
- the right to reasonable adjustments if you are disabled
- pensions auto-enrolment rights (although your employer can postpone enrolling you in a pension for the first three months of your contract)
- the right to 52 weeks’ maternity leave, even if you were pregnant when you started the job. As well as other leave e.g. adoption or bereavement leave, dependents leaves and paid time off for medical appointments if you are pregnant
- Although you need more service before you are able to claim general unfair dismissal, you can already claim for dismissal on certain grounds.
Whilst that list alone may seem overwhelming it really is just an introduction as some of these points need further discussion and there are extra elements rights that I haven’t touched on yet.
Next up are some of the employment rights that come after a certain number of weeks/months of service.