An Introduction To Your Legal Rights As An Employee

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As an employee, you are legally entitled to certain rights which are in place to provide a basic level of protection. These legal rights ensure all employees are able to work within a safe and fair environment.

The general terms of employment are typically laid out by a contract which an employee shares with his or her employer. In all cases, the rights of an employee as defined by law have greater precedence than a worker’s contract. It is important to note, though, that employment law merely states a basic level of protection. Where contracts offer employees greater rights than law, this contract will then take precedence.

Employee rights touch on a number of aspects of working life. They offer workers a minimum amount of time off work which is relative to the time they spend at work. They also define the terms on which an employee is able to leave a position, as well as the payment which they are entitled to receive if and when they choose to do so.

Notice Periods

Employment law determines the amount of notice employees must be given by their employer should they be released from their position. The law will also define the terms on which redundancies can be deemed legal.

There also exist a number of similar laws which outline the responsibility that an employee has towards his or her employer should the situation arise where they wish to leave their position. Again, these deal with the amount of notice that should be offered to the receiving party.

Failure to comply with laws regarding notice does not always invalidate your right to receive payment for recent work; however your contract does have the ability to give your employer the right to withhold payment should you fail to give proper notice.


A large part of employment law is dedicated to the criminalisation of discrimination. This aspect of the law is designed to ensure that nobody is subject to unfair treatment based on a number of factors which are outside of their control - typically these factors include age, gender, sexual orientation and religion.

Discrimination can occur both directly and indirectly. If your employer makes decisions which have a disproportionate effect on a certain part of the workforce - men, for example - they may be in breach of employment law.

The laws surrounding discrimination at work are grounded in the Equality Act. They attempt to uphold social justice and to cut down on the unfair treatment of various minority groups which still occur in the workplace.

Trade Unions

Where employees are concerned about matters which are not covered by employment law, it is often best for them to look to their unions. Employment law gives workers the right to join unions who can offer the employee the power necessary to obtain fair changes to the contract offered by an employer.

Workers also have the right not to become affiliated with a trade union, should they wish.

Paul moody Paul moody

I have worked in the job I am due to be made redundant on Friday the 26 ot April . I am in the union and I'm taking a union rep with me but I've pretty much been informed that the company I work for has the right by current employment law to make me redundant and give the job I've been doing to a sub contract company. Over the past 10 years I've been tupee over twice but sub contracted out to the client , which the business has changed owners some 3 times . Over the last 10 years i have had commitment to my job above and beyond what any body would class as reasonable . I used to be the team leader of a underground faults electrical digging gang for the last ten years . As we were responsible for people's electric supply we would never leave a job unfinished working in some cases 120 hours in a week doing 24 hour standby , leaving the house at all hours . And I remember when the floods we worked almost for 2 weeks solid eating from a burger van which was placed in the electric board yard , washing the thick filth off in a bucket in the garden before boiling a kettle and having a wash down. We were told that if the main primary was flooded the mobile network would be down and we were going nowhere except to the board yard to report for works. We didn't mind because we had commitment to our job and a dutie to the electricity company and the people they supplied . So for all this commitment how is it we are treated by our jobs being given away so called legally to a contractor . The employment law is wrong in this case and should be changed .

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