Know Your Basic Employment Rights

Today, in employment law, there is a lot of legislation in place to protect employee rights. It is quite unbelievable that in the past there were no where near as many protections available to employees and they were frequently mistreated without the employers being held liable. But fortunately in today's society there are many different angles at which employees can take their employer to tribunal if they are treated unfairly. The pieces of law in place are there to ensure that every employer is treated equally, fairly and lawfully and if not, that there are grounds available to take the employer to tribunal. The main statutory protections in place to protect employees are the following:

    * Health and Safety Acts
    * The Equal Pay Act 1970
    * The Race Relations Act 1976
    * Employment Rights Act 1996
    * The Sex Discrimination Act 1975
    * Protection From Harassment Act 1997
    * Employment Equality Regulations 2003

The aforementioned statutory rights are in place to protect employees across all areas of daily duties at work. I now move on to look at more detailed areas in which problems can arise and the rights that employees have in each section.

Minimum wage employment rights

Employees have the right to be paid the national minimum wage, any attempts by an employer to pay less than this can be claimed upon by an employee. The current national minimum wage is £5.93 per hour.

Working time regulation employment rights

Employees have various rights regarding their working time. They have the right too work no more than a maximum 48 hour week. They have the right to compulsory rest breaks and the right to paid annual leave.

Maternity employment rights

Employees have four main rights under the area of maternity. They have the right not to be fired due to becoming pregnant or requiring time off for a pregnancy. They have the right to return to work after maternity leave, the right to maternity pay and the right to take time off for ante-natal care. If any of these rights are infringed by an employer then the individual is in their right to act against the employer.

Discrimination employment rights

Employees have the right not to be discriminated against. Discrimination based on gender, race, age, disability, religion, nationality or sexual orientation is strictly forbidden. Discrimination can occur in many forms from different working environments, different pay and different treatment. Any sort of discrimination should be reported and claimed against.

Health and safety employment rights

Employees also have many rights regarding health and safety. This includes being provided all relevant health and safety information, training and protective items dependent on the work to be carried out. The levels of health and s`fety required will vary between jobs. A far more substantial amount of health and safety advice is required on a building site compared to an office space.

Right to an employment tribunal if any of the rights above are infringed upon.

If any employee feels that their employment rights have been breached in any way mentioned above or in any other way they feel they shouldn't have been then they have the right to take their employer to an employment tribunal to attempt to claim and receive any compensation rightly owed to them.

Employees shouldn't be subject to situations where their rights are infringed but unfortunately this isn't the way of life. Far too often employers try to cut corners and try to avoid doing all the necessary requirements when it comes to their employees. It is important for employees to know their right s and be able to hold their employer liable where they have failed to uphold the basic employee rights.

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