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calendar of additional rights for employees

If you have the legal status of an 'employee' then you gain extra rights, but you may have to work for a qualifying period.

This means the rights do not start on your first day of your job, but only after you have had the same employer for a period of time. This section sets out the extra rights employees enjoy and how long you have to wait for them. You also still have all the worker's rights described above.

Rights when you apply for a job

  • You should not be discriminated against in a job selection process on the grounds of your trade union membership, sex (including pregnancy/ maternity status), race (including nationality), disability, age, sexual orientation, religion/ belief (including lack thereof), or being transgender.

Rights from your first day at work

  • You should be given a written statement of particulars showing how much you earn and any deductions that will be made from your pay. (Some or all of the information required to be set out in a written statement of particulars may be contained in a contract of employment, rather than in a separate document).
  • You have a right not to have deductions (with some exceptions such as for tax) made from your pay unless your employer has the contractual power to make the deductions and you have agreed to them in advance.
  • If you are paying National Insurance contributions (applies to anyone earning over £111 per week (from 6 April 2014)), you can claim Statutory Sick Pay after you have been off sick for four days in a row.
  • You have the right not to be discriminated against on the grounds of your trade union membership, sex (including pregnancy/ maternity status), race (including nationality), disability, age, sexual orientation, religion/ belief (including lack thereof), or being transgender.
  • You have a right to equal pay with members of the opposite sex doing the same job, a similar job, or a job of equal value to you.
  • You are entitled to 52 weeks’ maternity leave, even if you were pregnant when you started the job.
  • You can have time off for medical appointments if you are pregnant.
  • You can take unpaid leave to deal with unexpected emergencies involving family members or people who rely on you for their care.
  • You have the right for your trade union to be recognised by the employer to negotiate your working conditions if at least 10% of the people in your department/ workplace are members of that union and the union can show that the majority of employees in that department/ workplace are likely to support it being formally recognised.
  • You have the right to take a trade union representative or fellow worker into a disciplinary, grievance hearing, flexible working request meeting, and time off to train request meeting.
  • You can claim wrongful dismissal if your employer sacks you without giving you the agreed notice, or resign and claim constructive unfair dismissal if it breaks a fundamental term of your contract.
  • Although you need more service before you are able to claim general unfair dismissal, you can already complain about dismissal on certain grounds (e.g. dismissal for whistle-blowing, or on the basis of a protected characteristic such as your race or trade union activities).
  • You have a right not to be unfairly dismissed for your political views.

Rights after a month

  • You must be given one week's notice of dismissal (or more, if your contract entitles you to longer notice).
  • You must be paid if you are suspended on medical grounds.
  • You must be paid wages if you are laid off (this is where your employer has asked you to work for at least a day less per week than usual).

Rights after eight weeks

  • You are entitled to a written statement of your terms of employment which must include your pay, hours, where you are expected to work, holidays and other benefits such as a pension entitlement.

Rights after two years' service

  • Once you have been working for two full years, you can claim unfair dismissal in the employment tribunal.
  • You can claim statutory redundancy pay if you are dismissed due to redundancy. The amount of redundancy pay due depends on your age, your pay and your length of service.
  • You have a right, on request, to written reasons for your dismissal. If you were dismissed because of pregnancy, maternity or childbirth, you have this right from day one of your employment, whether or not you make a request.

The deadlines for bringing claims in the employment tribunal are very short and very strict.

On 6 April 2014, the tribunal rules changed to introduce Acas Early Conciliation. Under these new rules, you are not allowed to make a claim in the employment tribunal until you have first contacted Acas to consider conciliation (i.e. settlement) of your claim. You should contact Acas as soon as you think you might want to bring a tribunal claim. In any event, you must initiate the Acas early conciliation process before the three month time limit for bringing your tribunal claim has run out.

The purpose of Acas early conciliation is to find out whether a claim can be settled without issuing tribunal proceedings. You must contact Acas before bringing any tribunal claim, but you are not obliged to participate in the conciliation process. Neither is your employer. If the Acas officer concludes that no settlement is likely to be achieved – for example because one or other party is not interested in exploring settlement – an Early Conciliation Certificate will be issued confirming that it was not possible to settle the claim.

Time limits in the employment tribunal are strict. If you are too late in bringing your claim, the tribunal is unlikely to consider it.

Remember that there are now tribunal fees in place for all employment tribunal claims. A few claimants will qualify for fee remission (i.e. exemption or reduction).

Your union may have put in place arrangements to loan you the tribunal fee subject to certain conditions, but even if it has, you should apply for fee remission if you think you might qualify. To apply for remission, you will need original documentary evidence of your means. Only certain documents are acceptable. The government has produced guidance on applying for remission. It is extremely complicated. If you have difficulty following it, you should seek help by, for example, making an appointment as soon as possible at your local Citizens Advice Bureau. Make sure you allow enough time to make your application. Do not leave it to the last minute.

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