Employment Law and Workers Rights UK

This article covers Employment Law and Workers Rights in the UK.

What is the Legal Classification of a Worker?

A worker is any person(s) that has a contract of employment to do work or provide services. They must attend work, even if they do not want to. They are paid for a type of work.

A workers employer has them under a contract and they are not part of their own limited company.

What Rights Do Workers Have?

Workers are entitled under UK law to certain rights which are outlined in several Acts and Regulations. These rights include:

What Protection Do Workers Have?

Workers under these acts are protected and afforded certain things such as:

  • Protection against unlawful deductions of wages, when a worker or employee has been unpaid or underpaid wages 
  • Protection against discrimination by an employer. 
  • Protection for whistleblowing.
  • National Minimum Wage.
  • Apprentice – £4.30
  • Under 18 – £4.62
  • 18-20 – £6.56
  • 21-22 – 8.36
  • 23 and over – £8.91
  • Statutory minimum levels of holiday paid/ annual leave entitlement
    • 5.6 weeks a year
    • Part-time 3 day week must get 16.8 days a year
  • Minimum rest breaks,
    • One uninterrupted 20-minute break if working more than 6 hours (Can be unpaid)
    • 11 hours rest between working days/shifts
    • Uninterrupted 24 hours without work each week 
    • Uninterrupted 48 hours without work each fortnight
    • Working no more than 48 hours a week (Opt-out available).

When looking at employment rights in the UK employers must adhere to the Equality Act 2010, adhering to equality and diversity in the workplace, fair pay for both male and female employees and the modern slavery act as part of employment law in the UK.

What Is Equality and Diversity In Terms Of Employment Law?

The Equality Act 2010 protects workers against discrimination on the grounds of prejudice of an employer due to the characteristics of an employee.

The objective of the Equality Act is to promote and include equality of all person(s) into the core objectives, making every effort to eliminate discrimination and create equal opportunities for all.

Examples of Discrimination Areas

Discrimination can be categorised as but is not limited to:

  • Race
  • Disability
  • Gender Reassignment
  • Pregnancy and/or Maternity rights
  • Religion and beliefs
  • Sex
  • Sexual orientation
  • Civil partnership or marriage

What Is Fair Pay?

The legislation that helps to promote fair pay is The Fair Pay Act 1970. However, the Equal Pay Act 1970 is superseded by the Equality Act 2010.

This act prohibits the favourable treatment of one person over another due to gender. Historically this is the gender pay gap issue with men being paid more than women to do the same job.

What is Modern Slavery?

Modern slavery is the act of recruiting, harbouring, moving, or receiving children, women or men through the use of coercion, force, exploiting vulnerabilities or deceiving under false pretences for the purpose of exploitation to gain cheap labour, a financial incentive, sex or drug traffic, domestic servitude etc.

Modern Slavery Legislation

The legislation that prohibits modern slavery is The Modern Slavery Act 2015. This Act consolidates previous offences on trafficking and slavery in the UK but generally applies mostly in England and Wales.