What Are My Rights At Work?
In Scotland and across the UK there are many laws in place for the protection of employees.
You need to know what your rights are so you can make sure you receive fair treatment from your employer.
You also need to know what you can do if your employer does not treat you fairly.
Contractual rights and statutory rights
You have contractual rights, contained within the contract of employment given to you by your employer, and statutory rights, laid down by law.
There is a significant number of statutory rights. The list includes things like the entitlement to paid holidays and the right to receive your employment contract in written form.
Some of the main statutory employee rights
Here are some of the more important statutory rights of employment.
Some of them require a minimum qualifying period of service with your employer before they apply.
You have the right not to be discriminated against on grounds of age, sex, religion or beliefs, sexual orientation, pregnancy, being on maternity leave or for being subject to a disability.
Should you experience discrimination, directly or indirectly, as a result of any of these characteristics, you may have the basis for a claim against your employer.
All workers are entitled to have time off work and to be paid for their time off.
It does not matter whether you are a full-time or part-time employee.
The law requires that a full time worker should be allocated at least 28 days of paid holiday each year.
Paid maternity, paternity or adoption leave
If either you or your partner is expecting a baby – or you are adopting a child – you are entitled to paid time off work.
The wages you receive during this period may be a mixture of pay from your employer, as stated in your contract, and statutory pay.
Additionally, any pregnant woman is entitled to paid time off to receive ante natal care throughout her pregnancy.
If you are made redundant by your employer and you have worked for them for 2 years or more, you could be entitled to redundancy pay.
The law also allows you to have paid time off to look for a new job.
If your employer dismisses you from your job unfairly, you can claim compensation.
You need to have worked for them for at least two years before you will be entitled to claim.
Not everyone is protected
The above list sets out a few of the most important statutory employment rights.
Most workers have this protection but it is important to remember that not all do.
People employed in the police service, armed forces, freelance workers or agency workers may fall outside the scope of these rights.
In their circumstances, some of the laws apply, but others do not.
If you are not sure of your rights, you should check with an employment law solicitor.
How we can help
For more information about this article or any aspect of our employment services, please call us on 01343 544077.
Alternatively, you can send us a Free Online Enquiry and we will be glad to reply by phone or email.
All initial discussions are free of charge and without obligation. If we are not able to help you directly, we will help you to identify the best way forward for you. We have a lot of contacts in the field of Employment Law, both local and national.