Your rights at work

Henry Richards By Henry Richards, 25th Jan 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Jobs>Employment Law

As an employee you have rights under law that help make sure your working conditions are fair. But what are your rights? Read on and find out…

Your basic statutory rights

Your statutory rights are protected by law (though some only apply if you've been in your job for a certain period of time). They protect the very basics - like your right to holidays and pay. Under your statutory rights, you're entitled to:

A written statement of your terms of employment
An itemised pay slip
The minimum wage
Paid holidays
Time off for trade union activities
Paid time off to look for work if you're being made redundant
Paid time off for ante natal care
Paid maternity leave
Ask for flexible working to care for children and dependents
Work until you are at least 65
Notice of dismissal
Claim compensation if unfairly dismissed
Claim redundancy pay
Not be dismissed if you 'blow the whistle' on malpractice

Health & Safety

As well as your basic statutory rights, your employer has a legal duty of care to you when it comes to health and safety.

The legislation around Health & Safety differs depending on where you live in the UK, but basically you've a right to expect access to toilets, washing facilities, drinking water, seating and first aid facilities. And your employer should take care to protect you from the danger of fires, noise, machinery, lifting weights and more.

The Health & Safety regs should also protect your right to have breaks, days off and a set amount of time between shifts.


You've also got a right to be protected against discrimination.

Under law, you have rights not to be treated worse than other people at work because of your age, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or because of your pregnancy or maternity leave. So for example, you shouldn't be refused a promotion on the basis of your sex.

If you do feel discriminated against at work, you have the right to make a claim to an employment tribunal but there's a strict three month time limit about making a claim.


Employers have a legal duty to protect you from bullying at work too. So, by rights, if you feel as though someone at work is behaving in a way that is offensive, malicious or intimidating towards you, your employer should take it seriously. They should also have policies and processes in place that help support you and resolve the problem.

If you feel your employer isn't taking you seriously or helping to stop the bullying you're experiencing, then you can turn to independent organisations like your Trade Union, ACAS or the Citizen's Advice Bureau for help. As a last resort, you can also take legal action via an employment tribunal.


While most people think they've got a legal right to a reference, the truth is that most employers don't have to supply one - unless it's expressly in your contract or a reference is needed by a regulatory body.

Most people also think that an employer can't give you a bad reference, but really their only duty is to write an accurate reference that doesn't mislead the employer who is requesting it. What's more, you don't have a right as such to see a reference written about you - but you can make a request to see it under the Data Protection Act.


Are you surprised by how many rights you have? Do you think there's a right you should have - but don't?


Bullying, Bullying At Work, Employees, Employers, Employment, Employment Issues, Employment Law, Employment Tips, Work Rights

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author avatar Henry Richards
This blog is run by a bunch of people working for a digital agency.

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