6 employee rights you should know about

Lots of people are moving jobs right now, so we thought we’d give you the guide to some rights employees in the UK have which you may not know about.


1. You are allowed to request flexible working

Employees who have worked for the same employer for 26 weeks can request flexible working (known as making a statutory application). You must write to your employer to make the request and include the following information:

A statement that this is a statutory request

Details of how you want to work flexibly

When you want to start

An explanation of how flexible working could affect the business and how this can be dealt with

A statement saying if and when you made a previous application for flexible working

Your employer must respond to your request within three months. They must change your contract if they grant your request. If they refuse, they must explain the business reasons behind the decision. You can complain to a tribunal if this happens.


2. Minimum notice periods

A minimum notice period is the period of time your employer must give you before your employment ends, or that you give your employer before you stop working for them. These periods are in your contract. These are the statutory minimum notice periods:

One week’s notice must be given you have worked between one month and two years

You are entitled to one week’s notice for every year worked, up to a maximum of 12 weeks, if you have worked between two and 12 years

The minimum statutory notice periods apply even if your contract states a shorter length of time.


3. You must receive a payslip

A payslip should be sent by the day you get paid. It must show a detailed breakdown of the pay you’re getting for the relevant period, plus deductions such as tax, National Insurance, student loan repayments and pension contributions.


4. You must not be discriminated against

Discrimination occurs when someone is treated unfairly in the workplace because of characteristics protected under the Equality Act 2010. These characteristics are: age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage or civil partnership, pregnancy or maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation.


5. Health and safety laws apply to your working environment

Under the Health and Safety at Work Act (1974), employers have a duty to provide a safe, healthy environment for their employees. This includes providing facilities such as toilets, wash basins and clean drinking water, keeping the workplace clean, ventilated and well lit, and maintaining any equipment used.


6. Statutory redundancy pay

You have the right to receive statutory redundancy pay if you’ve been working for your employer for two or more years, with length of service capped at 20 years. You’ll receive:

Half a week’s pay for each full year you were under 22

One week’s pay for each full year you were between the ages of 22 and 40

One-and-a-half week’s pay for each full year you were aged 41 or more

Weekly pay is calculated as the average you earned per week over the 12 weeks before the day you received your redundancy notice. You can calculate your redundancy pay on the government website.