Basic Rights of an Employee

An Employee receives a number of protections that other statuses of “workers” do not receive. Below listed are a number of such rights:

The Right to a Statement of the Main Terms and Conditions of Employment
Employees are entitled to a statement of certain key terms of their employment contract within the first two months of starting their employment. The contract of employment should make clear the nature of the relationship and hours of work.

The Right to Time Off
Employees may be entitled to statutory and/or contractual time off work in certain circumstances:

  • Paid holiday entitlement
  • Leave in relation to family/caring
  • Sickness absence

Rights in Relation to Working Hours
European Legislation restricts the number of hours worked by an employee to an average maximum of 48 hours/week unless an employee waives such limitation.

Right to Pay
The employee is protected in a number of ways in relation to  pay: from a right to be paid for work done, right to regular and agreed payments, right to a minimum wage, right to equal pay regardless of gender.

Health and Safety
Employees and workers benefit from health and safety protection in their workplace. The right to work free from harassment and discrimination is also protected via the Equality Act 2010.

Termination of Employment
After an employee has been employed for more than two years (and sooner in certain exceptional circumstances), they will be protected from unfair dismissal. In order to lawfully fairly dismiss an employee, an employer must have one of the five fair reasons (as set out in the Employment Rights Act 1996) and follow a fair procedure.

Employees have statutory and contractual entitlements to a period of notice on termination in most circumstances (with the exception of cases of gross negligence or misconduct in which the employee may be dismissed summarily without notice).

Disclaimer: This article does not contain a full statement of the law and it does not constitute legal advice. Please contact the Employment Law Team on 020 3743 0600 if you have any questions about the information set out above.

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