Here at Hunterskill Recruitment, our job is to match motivated and ambitious employees with employers who need and value the time and effort of their workers. If you’ve been following our blog for a while, you may have realised that we’ve given out a lot of information that pertains to climbing the promotional ladder, or how to use psychology to get your foot in the door with job interviews – in other words, all the necessary skills a potential employee may need to succeed.

With this in mind, it’s important to note that while here at Hunterskill Recruitment we have your best interests in mind, there are many employers in the working world, while often not entirely intentional, who do not treat their employee’s best interests as a priority.

Many employees over the years have sometimes fallen into the realm of mistreatment, oftentimes unaware of precisely at what point things changed – in lots of instances, it is the cumulative result of small transgressions employers make on workers’ rights, that makes it almost undetectable over time. 

That’s why today, we’re discussing some of the fundamental rights that you should be aware of as an employee or worker. Remember, use this as a supplement as these will not have every right to official avenues and resources (in other words, the people who write the rules), whose pages we’ll link as we go!

You are entitled to the National Minimum Wage

As you’re probably aware, in the UK everyone is entitled to what is known as the National Minimum Wage. This wage is settled upon by the government every year and is usually either raised or lowered in April.

It is important to note that whatever age bracket of the minimum wage you fall into (in fact, if you are 23 or over it is known as the National Living Wage), it is a legal requirement that you are being paid exactly or more than your respective Minimum or Living Wage.

It is not often, but it is always good to keep checking in on the current wage rates because they are subject to change and unintentionally or not, some employers can miss the changeover and may pay you an incorrect, lesser amount than you are entitled to!

Currently, the rates from April 2022 are as follows:

Wage bandCurrent rate (from 1 April 2022)
Age 23 or over (National Living Wage)£9.50
Age 21 to 22£9.18
Age 18 to 20£6.83
Under 18£4.81

You must not be discriminated against

While all of these rights are essential and equally important, this one has become increasingly more relevant in recent years. Your right not to be discriminated against is protected under the Equality Act of 2010 and highlights the list of recognised ‘protected characteristics:

  • Age
  • Disability
  • Gender reassignment
  • Marriage and civil partnership
  • Pregnancy and maternity
  • Race
  • Religion or belief
  • Sex
  • Sexual orientation.

Confusingly, even though we’re building this list for worker’s rights, while these protected characteristics are protected in the workplace, they are also protected:

  • In education
  • As a consumer
  • When using public services
  • When buying or renting property
  • As a member or guest of a private club or association

In the workplace, however, it is valuable to be aware of the different types and forms that workplace discrimination can take on – this includes dismissal, employment terms and conditions, pay and benefits, promotion and transfer opportunities, training, recruitment and redundancy. If any of these factors have been, or if you have reason to believe they were influenced by any protected characteristics you have, you may be being discriminated.

For more information on types of discrimination, find out more here.

You are entitled to a minimum level of paid holiday and Maternity pay (if applicable)

In the same way, you are entitled to the National Living or Minimum wage, it is a legal requirement that your employer is following the proper guidelines when it comes to your designated right for paid holiday, sick pay and maternity or paternity leave, as and when you need it.

There’s almost too much information to accurately spell out everything you need to know here in just one blog, however, we can give you a brief rundown of each one, and point you in the right direction if needs be!

Paid Holiday

According to the government, generally, almost every worker is entitled to 5.6 weeks’ paid holiday, however, it’s good to remember that your employer retains the right to include your bank holidays as part of your statutory annual holiday entitlement.

Workers who work full time (5 days a week) are entitled to 28 paid holiday days – which is equivalent to 5.6 weeks. For part-time workers, the equivalent number of weeks is the same, but the days may differ accordingly.

For shift workers who may work irregular hours, paid holiday is accrued during every hour of paid work.

For more information on paid holidays, have a look at the government’s guidelines.

Maternity Leave and Pay

Having a baby is a really big change in both parents’ lives – that’s why the government has made sure that employers are required to accommodate maternity and paternity leave and pay.

When it comes to maternity leave, under a mother’s statutory maternity leave they are entitled to 52 weeks of leave – this is split between ordinary maternity leave, which consists of the first 26 weeks, and then the remaining 26 weeks come under additional leave.

Often misunderstood however is Statutory Maternity Pay – you are only eligible for 39 weeks of maternity pay, at 90% of your average weekly salary before tax, for the first 6 weeks. After this, you should receive £156.66 or 90% of your average weekly earnings, depending on which is lower for the remaining 33 weeks.

So there you have it!

We understand that there is so much more to learn and discover about your rights as you join the workforce, however, we hope that the small slice of information we’ve been able to give you has been enough to open your eyes to what exactly you are entitled to.

Here at Hunterskill Recruitment, our top priority is making sure we give everyone an equal and fair chance at employment, and we want to help guarantee that each and every future employee is treated and respected as they should be.

To climb your first rung up the employment ladder, why not browse our jobs board, upload your C.V. and sign our registration form or call us at 01473 21661

And as always,

Good Luck!