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Back to Basics: Day One Rights Of An Employee

Posted: 23rd October 2019

Let’s get ‘Back to Basics’ and no I don’t mean the song by Shapeshifters. I mean Employment Law stripped back in a series of short but informative blogs. I guess the most logical place to start would be by covering the primary rights that an employee will acquire within the first 28 weeks of their employment.

Perhaps the most important right for employers to remember is that employees have a right not to be discriminated against. In general terms, an employee can bring a discrimination claim on the basis of their age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation or pregnancy or maternity. A successful claim for dismissal on the basis of one of these characteristics triggers an automatic unfair dismissal regardless of length of service. The value of this claim is up to 52 weeks’ pay for the unfair dismissal element and potentially unlimited for the discrimination element.

Similar rules apply where an employer dismisses an employee for attempting to enforce their statutory and employment rights. Examples of statutory rights include requests for flexible working, auto enrolment into a pension scheme or payment of the national minimum wage. If an employee is dismissed because they attempted to enforce these rights then they can bring an unfair dismissal claim.

An employee is also protected by their rights under an employment contract. If a term in the contract is breached then they will be entitled to claim for this in the employment tribunal. An example of this is where the employee might not have been paid for their notice period or they have had amounts deducted from their payslip unlawfully (keep an eye out for my future blog on unlawful deductions)).

Employees also have the right to*:

The right Employment Tribunal Award
Be provided with a written statement of particulars; 2-4 weeks’ pay
Be accompanied to a disciplinary meeting; Up to 2 weeks’ pay
request flexible working after 28 weeks continuous employment; Up to 8 weeks’ pay
be paid national minimum wage; The loss
auto enrolment in a company pension scheme; N/A
Trade union membership; N/A
be informed and consulted in a TUPE transfer Up to 13 weeks’ pay
Notice after one week The notice
An itemised payslip N/A
Holiday pay The loss
A right to Statutory Sick Pay The loss
Not have unauthorised deductions of wages The loss
Maternity and paternity leave Unlimited
Unpaid leave to deal with unexpected emergencies involving family members or people who rely on them for their care. The loss
Paid time off for study leave for employees up to the age of 18 The loss
claim against the national insurance fund for arrears of pay in insolvency situation N/A


*This list is not exhaustive.

Duncan Milne, Solicitor
Blackadders LLP


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