Knowing Your Rights in the Workplace: A Guide

June 29, 2019

It wasn't until I was headed back to work breastfeeding that I ever thought about my rights at work. Today's guest post highlights what you need to know or at least what you need to be thinking about. 

Every employer has rights, but not all of them know what they are. It’s important that you educate yourself and know what you’re entitled to as an employee. This includes knowing what you can get in terms of pay, time off, and fair treatment. By knowing such things, you can have a greater sense of security as well as peace of mind. On that note, keep reading below to learn more about knowing your rights in the workplace.

Minimum Wage

A basic right of an employee is the right to minimum wage. In case you aren’t sure what the minimum wage is, it depends on both your age. If you’re an apprentice, you get £3.70, while anyone between 16-24 gets between £4.20 and £7.38. You can use a minimum wage calculator to ensure you get the right minimum wage. You should know that there’s a difference between the National Minimum Wage and the National Living Wage. The latter is higher at £8.21 and is for people that are 25 and older.

Time off Emergencies

When you have an emergency in your personal life, you the right to take time off of work. An emergency can be classified as someone passing away or a medical emergency. Another scenario in which you may need it is in the case of an accident at work. If this happens to you, contact The Compensation Experts and find out whether or not you’re entitled to compensation.

Protection Against Discrimination

Discrimination in the workplace is something people experience on a daily basis. Know that it is against the law for you to be discriminated against based on age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion, or sex. More specifically, The Equality Act 2010 legally protects you from discrimination. If you ever feel as though they’re being discriminated against, contact a solicitor or get the right legal advice.

Special Types of Pay

There are different types of pay that you’re entitled to as an employee. Below, you’ll see a couple that you should be aware of.

Sick Pay: If you’re too ill to work, you should be able to get statutory sick pay. You can get up to £94.25 per week, and your employer can pay it for up to 28 weeks. However, to be entitled, you must be sick for at least four days in a row and earn at least £116 per week before tax and NI are deducted. You also have to have been earning that amount at least eight weeks ending with the last payday before you became ill.

Maternity Pay: For women who are looking to start a family, maternity pay is something you’re typically entitled to. You could also get maternity leave, paid time off for antenatal care, and extra help from the government. There are free tools online that can help you work out your maternity leave and pay but note that each case is unique. Also, note that your employment rights, such as pay rises, build up holiday, and return to work, are protected while you’re on maternity leave.

Shared Parental Leave: If you are having a baby or adopting a child, you and your partner could get shared parental leave (SPL). This enables you to share over 50 weeks of leave and up to 37 weeks of pay between the both of you. Just check to make sure that you meet the requirements for eligibility before applying.