Employees know their rights – do you?

employee rights the hr doc shopHi Guys

So in our last blog we started at the beginning when I asked you if you knew whether you had workers, employees or both?  I covered the basics and explained why you needed to know… if you haven’t read it yet then you can check it out here.

I was talking with a client last week about a difficult conversation she needed to have with an employee and she was obviously really nervous.  When I asked her why, she replied “well this employee is .. how can I say it… very confident and very very VERY rights based… she knows more about her rights than I do and it scares me!!” 

In that moment I was reminded of how scary it was to be in the dark, so to speak, or to be faced with a situation where the only thing you know, is that you don’t know anything!!

Well let me help you fight past that fear.

If you have employees – and having read last week’s blog you know if you do – then I want to make sure that you know what rights your employees have – and remove that fear for you one step at a time.

So read on my friend…

You know that employees have many “rights” as laid down in legislation, but you do not know how many or what they are.

So to end the truth or myth around employee rights here is the current list of statutory employee rights in the UK:

Employees have a statutory right to:

  • Receive written statement of main terms and conditions of employment (commonly called the T&Cs or Employment Contract)
  • Receive the appropriate national minimum wage (NMW)
  • Receive an itemised pay statement
  • Receive statutory sick pay (SSP) (providing qualifying conditions have been met)
  • Receive paid annual leave (currently 28 days per annum)
  • Receive rest breaks (vary depending on age and length of shift)
  • Receive statutory maternity leave and pay (SMP) (providing qualifying conditions have been met)
  • Receive statutory adoption leave and pay (SAP) (providing qualifying conditions have been met)
  • Receive paternity leave / shared parental leave (providing qualifying conditions have been met)
  • Request flexible working
  • Receive unpaid time off for dependents
  • Be treated equally regardless of being a full-time or part-time employee
  • Receive guarantee payment when laid off
  • Receive period of notice on termination (currently one week for each completed years’ service)
  • A safe system of work
  • Belong to a trade union
  • Not to be unfairly dismissed
  • Receive written reasons for dismissal
  • Right of appeal against a disciplinary or dismissal decision


Now it is important to know that some of these rights require a minimum length of continuous employment before an employee qualifies for them and your employment contract might also have statements about how long this qualification period is. 

My one actionable for you to take away this week is simple:

  • Read the employee contract you have for your staff and make sure you understand the rights you have included for your staff.

So there you go, it wasn’t that difficult, was it?

Now you are no longer the person who knows the least in the room.

This is your business and it is important that you understand the basics when it comes to HR.  You don’t have to know everything, but you do have to be open to understanding more.  Feel free to look around the www.thehrdocshop.com and download the documents you need in your business right now.

I would love to hear from you about what other fears you have about managing employees, or even the topics you don’t know enough about.  I’ll be glad to help out, after all it is my mission to remove the fear from the confusing world of HR.

Have a great week!

Until next time

Johanna Scullion
Founder of the HR Doc Shop™

Welcome to our world, we hope to see you often 🙂 


NB: information correct at time of posting.  Content is not provided as legal advice and/or information.  The content is for your guidance in general situations only.  Professional and/or legal advice should be sought before use.

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