Basic rights at work
Statutory rights are legal rights based on laws passed by Parliament.
Sometimes an employee only gains a right when they have been employed by their employer for a certain length of time, and when this applies, the length of time you should have the following statutory rights:-
- the right to a written statement of terms of employment within two months of starting work, (see under heading Written statement of the main terms and conditions of employment)
- the right to an itemised payslip. This applies from the day the employee starts work
- the right to be paid at least the national minimum wage. This applies from the day the employee starts work.
More on getting paid less than the minimum wage
- the right not to have illegal deductions from pay. This applies from the day the employee starts work.
More on problems getting paid
- the right to paid hoilday. Full-time employees are entitled to at least 28 days a year. Part-time employees are entitled to a pro rata amount
More on check if your entitled to paid holidays
- the right to time of for trade union duties and activities. This applies from the day the employee starts work. The time off does not necessarily have to be paid. Employees also have the right to be accompanied by a trade union representative to a disciplinary or grievance hearing. If an employee takes part in official industrial action and is dismissed as a result, this will be an automatically unfair dismissal
- the right to paid time off, to look for work if being mader redundant- this applies once the employee has worked for two years for that employer
- the right to paid time off for antenatal care- this applies from the day the employee starts work
- the right to paid maternity leave. More on Maternity leave.
- the right to paid paternity leave
- the right to ask for flexible working– see how to ask for flexible working
- the right to take unpaid paternal leave for both men and women. (if you have worked for the employer for one year) and the right to reasonable time off to look after dependants in an emergency (applies from the day the employee starts work) (see parental rights at work)
- the right under Health and Safety law to work a maximum 48-hour working week. This applies from the day the employee starts work (see under heading Health and safety)
- the right under Health and Safety law to weekly and daily rest breaks This applies from the day the employee starts work. (see under heading Health and safety). There are special rules for night workers
- the right not to be discriminated against. This applies from the day the employee starts work. See under heading Harassment and discrimination
- the right to notice of dismissal, provided you have worked for your employer for at least one calendar month
- the right to written reasons for dismissal from your employer, provided you have worked for your employer for one year if you started before 6 April 2012 or two years if you started on or after that date. Women who are pregnant or on maternity leave are entitled to written reasons without having to have worked for any particular length of time
- the right to claim compensation if unfairly dismissed. In most cases to be able to claim unfair dismissal you will have to have worked for your employer for one year if you started before 6 April 2012 or two years if you started on or after that date
- the right to claim redundnacy pay if made redundant. In most cases you will have to have worked for two years to be able to claim redundancy pay
- the right not to suffer detriment or dismissal for ‘blowing the whistle’on a matter of public concern (malpractice) at the workplace. This applies from the day the employee starts work (see under heading Whistle-blowing at work)
- the right of a part-time worker to the same contractual rights(pro-rata) as a comparable full-time worker
- the right of a fixed-term employee to the same contractual rights as a comparable permanent employee.
You may also have additional rights which may be set out in your contract of employment. In particular, a part-time worker’s contract should be checked.
If in doubt about whether or not you have any statutory rights you should consult an experienced adviser, or Citizens Advice Bureau. click on nearest CAB.
- There are some workers who are not entitled to certain statutory rights:anyone who is not an employee, for example, an agency or freelance worker. However, most workers are entitled to certain rights such as the national minimum wage, limits on working time and other health and safety rights, the right not to be discriminated against and paid holiday. members of the police service. However, members of the police service are covered by discrimination law
- members of the armed forces. However, members of the armed forces are covered by discrimination law
- merchant seamen and share fishermen.
- some workers in the transport industry are not entitled to paid holidays or limits on their working hours by law and have to rely on their contract
- trainee doctors are not entitled to paid holidays and have to rely on their employment contract. They are also limited to working a 58 hour week, rather than 48 hours.
For information on the rights of agency workers, https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/work/rights-at-work/agency-workers/If you are not an employee but an agency/freelance worker, a casual worker, a trainee or self employed, you should seek help from an experienced adviser, for example, a Citizens Advice Bureau. employees who normally work outside the UK
Self-employment: checklist Information on self employment including setting up, employing other people and financial issues, further sources of help and advice are provided
Starting your own business - HMRC guidanceHMRC guidance on tax, national insurance, self-assessment and other related issues when you start a business