Know Your Employment Rights!

While it would be wonderful if we lived in a world where people put their hands up to their mistakes and let you know when they’ve done something wrong, that’s sadly just not how things generally go in day to day life. Generally, people will avoid being caught out as in the wrong at all costs. Why? Well, admitting to their faults could cost them financially and encourage people to doubt their authority and abilities.

This type of behaviour is particularly common amongst people who are higher up in the chain: employers, business owners, and individuals. People who are paying you to complete some sort of service for them. So, it’s absolutely necessary that you are fully aware of your rights.

When you are employed by another individual or company, there are legal guidelines and policies out there to protect you. Here are just a few different employment and contractual issues that you should be aware of at all times. As long as you are aware of where you stand, you will be able to take the necessary action to rectify problems and receive the treatment that you rightfully deserve. Listen up and take note!

Minimum Wage

Let’s start with one of the first things that you agree to when you sign up for a job: your wages or salary. The minimum wage that you’re entitled to will vary depending on your age and whether you are employed or an apprentice.

Apprentices require the least pay, according to law. At the time of publishing this post, apprentices under 19 years of age or over 19 years of age and undertaking their first apprenticeship are entitled to just £3.50 an hour. Next up comes employed under 18s at £4.05 an hour. 18 to 20 year olds should receive £5.60 an hour, while 21 to 24 year olds should be paid £7.05 an hour.

Once you reach 25, you are entitled to a living wage, which totals a minimum of £7.50 an hour. Hopefully, these rates will go up in the future. Remember that you are entitled to this amount whether you’re a full-time worker, part-time worker, casual labourer, agency worker, trainee, a worker on probation, an agricultural worker, a foreign worker, a seafarer or offshore worker.

Discrimination

You cannot be discriminated against in the workplace for any protected characteristics. These include age, sex, gender, sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity, marital or civil partnership status, pregnancy, maternity leave, or being or becoming a transgender person.

Paid Holiday

Nearly all workers are entitled to an allocated amount of holiday pay. So make sure that even if you aren’t going away you still get time off to relax and recuperate at home.

Generally, if you work full time, you will be allowed 5.6 weeks of paid holiday leave a year. Part-time workers are paid less holiday leave, as they work fewer hours. If you work part-time, you can find out your entitlements here.

However, whether you are a full time or a part-time worker, bear in mind that your employer can include bank holidays within this. If you want to find out more, it’s good to know that paid holiday is generally officially referred to as statutory leave entitlement or annual leave.

Know Your Employment Rights!

Negligence

When you are employed your employer has a duty of care to you. In order to make a claim of negligence, you must first supply evidence that the person you are prosecuting owed you a duty of care, that they were in breach of that duty, that this breach of duty caused you harm or damage and that the resultant harm or damage was definitely caused by the defendant’s negligence. This can get pretty difficult, as actually proving these points requires in-depth legal knowledge. Each step has to be thoroughly examined.

This is why you need to get into contact with professional negligence solicitors if you feel that you have been on the unfortunate receiving end of a breach of care. Remember that harm can also be physical or harm incurred to one’s property (either personal or real). Sometimes emotional trauma can come under the category of physical harm. Pure economic loss, on the other hand, can rarely usually be pursued.

So, make a note of everything that you think may be useful for your case and consult with the specialists. They will be able to advise you on whether it’s worth pursuing or not. If it is, they can take you through the rest of the process in a step-by-step, easily understandable manner. It’s always worth asking, as if it turns out that you don’t have a case, you haven’t lost anything anyway.

Working Hours

According to the working time directive (otherwise known as the working time regulations), you do not have to work more than 48 hours a week on average (this average is usually averaged over the time period of 17 weeks). Exemptions apply. For example, if you work in the emergency services, armed forces, in security and surveillance, are a domestic servant in a private household, or another industry where 24 hour staffing is required.

If you do wish to work more hours, however, it’s useful that you can opt out of this 48-hour agreement. The rule is simply there to prevent unwilling workers from being overexerted.

Whistleblowing

If something unlawful or immoral is being carried out within your workplace, you can report it. This is often called whistleblowing and is generally in the public’s interest. It can result in individuals from the company you work for being fired, or even imprisoned depending on the severity of the offence. However, you are protected by the law if you do this. You cannot be fired from your role or discriminated against within the workplace. At the end of the day, you’ve done what’s in the majority’s best interests.

These are just a few common issues that arise in the workplace surrounding your rights as an employee. Now that you’re aware of them, you’ll be able to notice discrepancies or wrongdoings more easily. This means that you can act on your instincts more quickly, rectifying the situation as soon as possible!

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