Employment Law: The essential know how for employees

I found this article relating to Employment Law which I thought may be of interest. So here it is for you

Employment law is a complex field of rules and regulations. The law imposes the majority of these regulations on the employers of a business. Without these regulations, employees could find themselves being mistreated, discriminated against and have their rights abused in many ways. It is not expected for employees of a business to understand the heavy areas of legal protections they have under employment law.

The aim of this article is to give brief details of the statutory protection that is in place, list details of general employment regulations and list areas of which claims against employers and employers’ rights within these areas are the most essential for employees to know. The following is a list of the most relevant and important statutory protection (legally binding law) that is in place to protect the employees of a business.

Statutory protection for employees

• The Equal Pay Act 1970

• The Sex Discrimination Act 1975

• The Race Relations Act 1976

• Employment Rights Act 1996

• Protection From Harassment Act 1997

• Employment Equality Regulations 2003

Without the aforementioned statutory protection in place, employers could not be held liable for any form of mistreatment. I will now look at areas and actions of employers which the law aims to protect against:

Important employment law areas:

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• Unfair dismissal: Claims can be made against an employer if you feel your dismissal has been made unfairly due to any circumstance.

• Compromise agreements: Your employer cannot pursue any claims against you in exchange for money.

• Data protection: Any misuse of an employee’s personal details can have vast claims made upon this action. Employers must strictly adhere to all data protection laws.
• Disciplinary procedures: Any action taken against an employee must be done so it a fair manner with the employee having the opportunity to defend their actions.

• Discrimination: Any discrimination of any kind against an employee due to age, gender, race or disability can be claimed against.

• Health and safety: All health and safety procedures must be detailed; all employees must be trained in all relevant health and safety areas within the business.

• Maternity rights: Maternity leave and pay rights must be considered by any employer.

• Sexual harassment: In any form from employer to employee or vice versa is strictly prohibited.

• Sickness absence: This will vary between businesses but provisions for allowed paid sick leave should be detailed in employment contracts.

As well as the protection for employees against the employer actions seen above there are more general regulations and protections for employees in the following areas.

Minimum wage regulations:

• The current national minimum wage is £5.93 per hour

• 18 – 21 years olds minimum wage is £4.92 per hour

• 16 – 17 year olds minimum wage is £3.64 per hour

If any wage offered to an individual within each of the three categories is below the minimum wage then this can be reported and claimed upon.
Working time regulations:

• Max 48 hour weeks: Unless the worker has agreed to do so in a formal written contract, under employment law, an employer cannot compel an employee to work more than 48 hours per week.

• Compulsory rest breaks: Adult workers are entitled to 24 hours off in each 7 day period and are entitled to at least 20 minutes uninterrupted rest if their working day is longer than 6 hours.

• Paid Holiday: As from April 2009 all workers are entitled to 28 days paid leave.

If as an employee you feel that your employer has breached your rights in any one of the ways mentioned above you are well within your rights to bring a case in front of the employers’ tribunal. I would suggest that for detailed advice on what route to take, you should get in contact with an employment solicitor; they will make the process more efficient and effective for you.

 

I am a legal writer who specialises in employment law, if you would like more information and would like to find a solicitor, I suggest you have a look at lawontheweb.co.uk.
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