Employment rights

There are two main types of employment right:


Contractual rights - those rights that arise from what you and your employer have agreed - e.g. how much you will be paid. These rights can be created in writing, by what has been said or the way things have been done


Statutory rights - those rights that are created by government legislation - e.g. a right not to be unfairly dismissed.


Some of these rights can overlap and deal with the same aspect of the employment situation. 


Where this happens the statutory right may set down a minimum standard for the right which must be observed even where the contract says something different - e.g. you must be paid at the rate of the national minimum wage even if a lower rate is agreed when the contract starts.


If the contract gives more rights than the statutory minimum then the right in the contract will usually be binding.


The menu on the left side of the page now gives you a range of employment rights to choose from.  Within each section you will find further information on the topic.


Common problems

You can also look at the section on Common Problems in the menu at the top of the page.  This will give you a summary of the rights that apply in these situations and the options for resolving them.


Using employment rights to solve problems

Employment rights are the basis of legal rights in the workplace but they may just be the start of a discussion with your employer to resolve the problem that you have.  Your employer may not agree that the right applies or that it applies in the way you think - this could be a legitimate difference in view.


This means that you have to plan how to resolve your problem by negotiation using the employment rights you have. Successfully negotiating will mean that you resolve your problem more quickly, preserve the relationship with your employer and avoid the potential stress and cost of a legal claim.


Further information on negotiating in your employment dispute


Enforcing employment rights

Sometimes agreement cannot be reached and you may need to enforce your rights by making a claim to an Employment Tribunal.


Further information on Employment Tribunal claims

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Zero increases by 26%

The Office for National Statistics has released new figures that show nearly 700,000 people work on zero hours contracts - up 26% from last year.  The problems caused by these contracts will require a significant change in the law.

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