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Your Legal Rights at Work

Published: 9th September 2019 13:39

When you first enter the world of work, it’s natural to feel nervous and go along with whatever you’re expected to do, because you don’t know any different. Rest assured, there are rules and regulations in place that ensure your employee rights are taken care of. These rights are designed to manage the fair treatment of employees and ensure each worker is treated fairly and equally. The rights will, however, depend on the type of industry you work in, the arrangement you have with your manager, alongside a number of other factors.

Here are some of the legal rights you have as an employee:

1. Holiday

In the UK, workers should be entitled to at least 5.6 weeks of holiday each year, which is otherwise known as ‘statuary entitlement’. Check your contract to see if your employer has allowed you to have any added time off to the standard holiday leave, which is otherwise known as ‘contractual’ holiday. Do be aware that bank holidays aren’t necessarily extra to your statuary holiday and your employer has every right to include these in your 5.6 weeks. It’s often the case that holidays have to be taken in a period known as a ‘leave year’ which is often different from the annual year between January- December. You may need to ask your employer when the ‘leave year’ starts and finishes so you can take time off as and when needs be.

2. Claiming for an injury

If you’ve had an accident in the workplace, you have every right to make a claim if you can prove it wasn’t your fault. You have the rights as  an employee to take as much time off as needed as part of the recovery process and be able to take on lighter duties and reduced working hours when you return, until you’re fully able to carry on with your original duties.

Employees have the responsibility to ensure the workplace is a safe working environment for their employees, so you have every right to seek professional assistance and get the compensation you deserve. It would be a good idea to have a look
through this recommended workplace injury guide to find out more information on what you’re entitled to and how you can get help when necessary.

3. Maternity leave

Women are allowed to take up to a year off maternity leave after giving birth. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve worked for your employer, how many hours per week you work or how much you’re paid to be eligible. However, if you work for an agency, are self-employed, take on casual work and working on a zero-hours contract, you won’t be eligible for leave. It will essentially be your own choice as to how long you take off work and you will have to do so without pay. There are however, two different types of pay to be aware of when taking maternity leave which depends on several factors. These are known as either statutory or contractual maternity pay.

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