As an employee, you have rights which are protected by law. These rights are there to ensure that you are treated fairly. At Beeston Shenton, we offer employment law advice on a daily basis to our clients. Here are the top 5 things we think you need to know…

1. What Your Employment Status Is

This might sound simple, but your employment status isn’t always as straightforward as you might think. The main types are:

  • Worker – you have a contract to do work for money or a benefit in kind. People with casual, freelance or zero-hours contracts are usually workers.
  • Employee – you have an employment contract. All employees are also workers, but employees have additional rights.
  • Self-employed/contractor – you run your own business.

Your rights differ depending on which category you fall under, and this has led to some high profile cases such as the ones involving Uber and Deliveroo.

2. Working Time Regulations

Working time regulations or directives are laws that make sure you have enough rest between work. Some of these laws include:

  • You don’t need to work more than 48 hours in a week unless you choose to opt out and give your employer confirmation in writing.
  • You are entitled to 5.6 weeks of paid leave each year.
  • You are permitted at least 11 hours of rest in between working days.
  • You have the right to either an uninterrupted 24 hours clear of work each week or 48 hours clear of work each fortnight.

3. The Equality Act 2010

This important piece of law gives you the right to work in an environment that does not discriminate against you because of your age, disability, gender, marriage, pregnancy or maternity, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation. It is against the law for you to be treated unfairly because of any of these characteristics.

4. Sick Leave And Sick Pay

You can self-certify for your first seven days of illness. This means that you don’t need to provide proof of illness, such as a doctor’s note, until seven days off (this includes any ordinary time off, such as weekends). 

If you’re off work due to illness for an extended period of time, you will get statutory sick pay. This is £95.85 per week for up to 28 weeks, but it may be higher if your employer tops it up. 

5. Trade Unions

A trade union looks after its members’ interests at work by negotiating with employers over pay and conditions, or attending disciplinary and grievance hearings with members. You have the right to choose whether to join a union or not. If you are treated differently because you are (or aren’t) a member of a trade union, you should seek employment law advice.

Finding Employment Law Advice

If a situation arises where you think your rights as an employee are not being met, it is a good idea to get employment law advice. A solicitor will be able to tell you what can be done to rectify the situation. Here at Beeston Shenton, our employment law experts are here to help you. Serving the people of Staffordshire and Cheshire, our lawyers will be able to provide you with all of the advice you need. You can contact us today.