Employee rights that employers must be aware of

Stay informed of your workers' rights

11 Feb, 14

Expert: Joanne Eccles

Company: Forum of Private Business

Background: Business advisor

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Taking on your first employees is a milestone. As an employer you need to know employee rights.

Pay and hours

• Your employees have the right to be paid the national minimum wage and equally to members of the opposite sex doing the same work of equal value

• Rest breaks and paid holiday must be in line with the Working Time Regulations

• Statutory sick pay and redundancy pay

• Protection from any unauthorised deductions in pay

• Employees are entitled Maternity, paternity and adoption leave and pay , paid leave for antenatal care, unpaid dependants’ leave, unpaid parental leave (after one year) and the right to request flexible working.

• Time off for public duties including jury service.


• Employees must not be discriminated against unlawfully on the grounds of race, sex, marriage, pregnancy, disability, gender reassignment, sexual orientation, age, religion or belief.

• Protection against less favourable treatment for part-time workers, those that ‘whistle blow’ and Trade Union members.

Disciplinary and dismissal

• All employees have the right not to be unfairly dismissed, after a qualifying period of two years.

• Employees have the right to access to fair grievance, disciplinary and disciplinary procedures, and the right to be accompanied at hearings.

All employees also have the right to receive a written statement of terms and conditions of employment (such as a contract) within two months or starting. This can avoid one of the main causes of employment tribunal claims.