When you are working it is important that you understand how your employment contract sets out your rights and responsibilities as an employee and also those of your employer.
Workers Employment Rights
In general, as an employee you are entitled to a wide range of in-work benefits including:
- National Minimum/Living Wage
- Protection against unlawful deductions from wages
- Statutory minimum paid holiday
- Statutory minimum rest breaks
- Not to work more than 48 hours per week
- Protection against unlawful discrimination
- Protection against unfair dismissal.
You may also be entitled to:
- Statutory Sick Pay
- Statutory Maternity, Paternity and Adoption Leave and Pay
- Statutory Redundancy Pay
Temporary workers have rights too
Your rights as a temporary worker are the same as those listed above for a permanent worker. You also have the right to use the shared facilities and services provided by your employer such as:
- A canteen or food and drinks machines
- Toilets and mother and baby facilities
- Car parking or transport services
Temporary worker rights after 12 weeks
After 12 weeks on the job you qualify for the same rights as someone employed directly, this is known as “equal treatment”, these would include:
- Equal pay (the same pay as a permanent employee doing the same job)
- Automatic Pension enrolment
- Paid annual leave
Your 12-week calculation starts again if you start at a different workplace or if you have a break of more than 6 weeks between jobs at the same workplace.
In all cases of employment you should be issued with an employment contract. At the minimum your contract should set out the following information:
- Job Title
- Hours of work
- Access to work benefits such as sick pay and holiday
- Start date
Extra details aka “Express Terms”
Your contract may also include what are known as “express terms”. These are parts of your contract specific to you and your role and may include:
- Sick Pay
- Redundancy pay
- Hours of work including any overtime agreement
- Notice required to terminate the contract
- Holiday pay and entitlement
You should make sure that you keep all documentation provided to you by your employers safe so you can refer back to it as needed.
General Behaviours aka “Implied Terms”
Some parts of your contract may not be written down, they could be what are known as “Implied Terms” these would be expected behaviours like, you will not steal from your employer and you will not divulge any confidential information.
In return your employer must provide a safe working environment and shouldn’t ask you to do anything illegal such as operate any vehicles or machinery for which you do not hold the license.
Deductions from wages
Any deductions that your employer makes from your wages have to be legally authorised, examples of legally authorised deductions would be tax and national insurance. These deductions should be detailed in your contract and agreed to in writing before the deductions are made.
The only exceptions to this rule would be any overpayments made to you in error or if you have not worked due to taking part in industrial action.
You can find out more information about pay rates, working hours, overtime and break entitlement on our rights page.