Home > Employment > Your Legal Rights as an Employee

Your Legal Rights as an Employee

By: Robin Mizell - Updated: 7 Aug 2013 | comments*Discuss
Employee Rights Employment Law

If you are an employee then you have an employment contract. The contract can be in writing or it may be a verbal agreement between you and your employer. Contracts of employment are sometimes referred to as engagement letters.

Within two months of your starting date, you’re entitled by the Employment Act to receive from your employer a written statement of the terms of your employment. The statement must include your employer’s name and your date of hire, pay rate and frequency, work schedule, job title, work location, duration of work if temporary, and both parties’ requirements to give notice of termination. The written document must also state whether any collective bargaining agreements apply to your job, and it must contain information on your entitlement to holiday, sick leave, and pension benefits.


If there are any changes in the terms of your employment, the law requires your employer to notify you within one month of the effective date of the changes. You can refuse to agree to the new terms, but your employer might simply terminate your employment. If you then file a claim for unfair dismissal, the Employment Tribunal will determine whether your employer acted fairly.

Your employer must also provide you with an itemised statement of your pay and deductions no less than once per year.

Many companies issue procedural manuals or post work rules at the job site. Companies that employ more than 19 people are required to specify any applicable disciplinary rules and a grievance procedure for workers.

Many of your legal rights as an employee are specified in the:

  • Employment Act
  • Employment Rights Act
  • Employment Relations Act
  • Working Time Regulations
  • Equal Pay Act
  • Sex Discrimination Act
  • Health and Safety at Work Act
  • Fire Precautions Act
  • Data Protection Act
  • Rehabilitation of Offenders Act
  • Human Rights Act
For example, employment laws cover workers’ rights to parental leave, family emergency leave, and application for flexible work schedules for those with parental responsibility for very young children.

The first step in any investigation of your rights as an employee should be to familiarise yourself with the applicable laws. Don’t assume colleagues, union representatives, or your employer will always provide you with information that is 100 percent accurate. Complex laws are subject to misinterpretation. It doesn’t make sense to risk your job before you know the facts.

When investigating your rights, you’ll need copies of your employment contract, your itemised pay statements, and the company’s work rules or employee handbook. You can compare these documents with information and publications about employment law available through the Department of Trade and Industry and Directgov websites. You can also obtain free, confidential advice about your legal rights as an employee from the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service.

If your investigation leads you to believe your employer has violated your rights, you can bring a claim before the Employment Tribunal. Accidental injuries on the job and work-related illnesses resulting in the loss of more than three days of work must be reported to the Health and Safety Executive. If you’re injured on the job through the fault or negligence of your employer, you can file a civil claim for compensation. We explain how to compile evidence to prove your claim in Investigating Civil Claims.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • Notlucky
    Re: How to Join MI6
    What. Is required to become an m16 agent
    19 November 2017
  • ging
    Re: Stopping A Stalker
    There is.someone's watching.me following me get.into.my property and turns gas on cooker gets through.mortice lock with.a.driver. someone would…
    18 November 2017
  • Mary
    Re: How to Join MI6
    Hi, I am 13 years old and ever since I was a child my dream was to become an MI6 agent. I recently watched this movie I thoroughly enjoyed called…
    25 October 2017
  • serin
    Re: How to Join MI6
    i know my self as a good person i always wanted to join the MI6 and that's what i'm looking forward too but would anyone think that a Muslim girl…
    17 October 2017
  • Jus
    Re: Conducting a Private Investigation
    I am currently in a long term relationship (4years) and sadly have had strong suspicion that my boyfriend has been…
    22 September 2017
  • Lilo
    Re: How to Join MI6
    I am 14 years old and I have been doin French for 3 years and Spanish for 1 year. Just now I am teaching myself russian. I am loyal and…
    8 September 2017
  • Flory
    Re: How to Join MI6
    This man assisted me in hacking my daughter phone remotely so I gain access to all his social media account, it really helped as a strong monitor…
    1 September 2017
  • Sky
    Re: How to Join MI6
    I'm 11 and my life's ambition is to be an SIS secret agent because I am willing to fight and protect my country. I speak seven different languages.…
    11 August 2017
  • Sky
    Re: How to Join MI6
    Can an 11 year old join up if they have the right training because my daughter so desperately wants too. She speaks Spanish Italian Japanese…
    11 August 2017
  • DIYSpy
    Re: How to Join MI6
    Millyyy - Your Question:How old should one be before deciding to apply for a role to work at MI6?Our R
    8 August 2017
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the DIYSpy website. Please read our Disclaimer.