Employees Rights in the UK: 4 Things You Should Know


Your legal status as an employee in the UK comes bundled with a series of rights that promise to make the workplace a fair and just environment. However, these rights are not the same for everyone as they change according to your employment status. 

For instance, there is a difference between workers and employees. Workers are people who are contractually engaged to do work or services for a reward (money or a benefit). Employees, on the other hand, are employed by contract to do regular work. So, all employees are workers, but not all workers can be considered employees. 

So if you qualify as an employee, here are some of the rights you may not know about:

#1: The Right to a Payslip

The payslip includes detailed information about your payment, the amount deducted for tax purposes and National Insurance, any benefits, bonuses, rewards, overtime, and more. You can use this document to prove your level of income with banks (when applying for loans), insurance purposes, and any other scenarios where you may have to prove your status as an employee. 

In the UK, every employer is required by law to provide employees with detailed payslips, every month, on the day the payment is released. Plus, the law is clear about the type of information the payslip must include. 

The employer can only decide if they’ll provide this document on paper or online (sent via email or made available on a secure online platform where employees can easily access their data).

#2: You Are Owed a Healthy & Safe Work Environment

The Health and Safety at Work Act (1974) specifies that it is an employer’s duty to provide a safe and healthy environment for their staff. This includes basic things such as clean drinking water, a clean workplace, and more. 

Moreover, the employer must perform regular checkups and maintenance to make sure the equipment used is safe and up to standards. Also, depending on the type of work, employers must receive specialised first aid at work training performed by a reliable provider like Glasgowfirstaidcourses.co.uk.

#3: You Can Request Flexible Working

In the light of the current pandemic and workforce developments, more employees feel safer and happier working from a remote location (where possible). However, some employers oppose remote work, and they use a so-called lack of productivity and motivation as the main reasons. 

However, few employees know they are actually allowed to request more flexibility when it comes to their work schedule. If you’ve worked for the same employer for at least 26 weeks, you are within your rights to make this request. 

True, the employer can still refuse, but they have to offer a compelling reason for their answer. If things look shady, you can take them to court based on the answer you receive.

#4: Sick Pay

In a fair and just workplace, employees have the right to sick pay for up to 28 weeks. For instance, if you have to self-isolate and can’t work from home, you are entitled to sick pay. Of course, there are other situations that fit the bill, but it’s important to know you have the right to such remuneration. 

Wrap Up

While there are still things that need to be worked out, employees in the UK have a good set of rights and the tools to defend them. However, it is up to the employee to stay up to date with new rules and legislation. 

Plus, they can publicly require better conditions, more care for their well-being (such as the right to be happy at work), fewer work hours, and so on. Overall, the UK workforce is constantly evolving and developing, which should lead to a healthier, better-supported system.