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A huge amount of legislation exists which covers the rights of employees. Whether an employee is full time or part time, they have specified rights regarding their treatment at work. Employees will have income tax and National Insurance deducted from their pay and will receive a contract of employment from their employer.

Employees are entitled to the National Minimum Wage, which is agreed according to the age of the employee. They will also be entitled to participate in any company sick pay schemes, performance related pay, time off and annual leave plus much more.

There are working time limits which apply to employees, so they don’t have to work more than 48 hours a week. Hours required to work will be set out in a written statement of employment or employment contract. However, there are some categories which are exempt from this rule, including the armed forces and emergency services in certain conditions. Employees are entitled to receive rest breaks which are dependent upon the type of job and age of the employee. A young person below the age of 18 will have different break times to adult workers. The minimum amount of time given for rest breaks will be set out in your employment contract, but will have to be at least the amount required by Working Time Regulations. An employer may provide more time for breaks and breaks may be paid or unpaid depending on your employer.

Prior to starting employment, an employer should tell an employee the hours to be worked, the amount of pay, when they will be paid and how they will be paid. When an employee is paid, or shortly before they are paid, they will be given a written statement of their pay and any deductions made. Pay statements must have details of the gross pay, fixed deductions, variable deductions, the net amount of pay and the method of payment.

Employees are entitled to 5.6 weeks paid annual leave, which will be calculated pro rata. Some employers may provide more annual leave. Annual leave is built up from the very first day at work but is worked out according to the hours you work if you are part time. Employers may control when you take your leave and will pay you your normal rate of pay when on annual leave. Bank holiday entitlement may be included as part of your minimum holiday allowance.

If an employee is off work due to sickness for seven days or less, they can provide details for their employer by completing a self-certification form. If you are absent from work for longer than seven days, a Statement of Fitness to Work should be obtained from your doctor. This gives more information of your illness to your employer. An employer will only terminate employment as a result of sickness in extreme circumstances. There are a number of options which may be put in place by your employer to ease your return to work.

Any employee can ask their employer for the right to flexible working. A number of employees have a statutory right to request flexible working conditions. For instance, a parent of a child below the age of 17 may ask their employer for flexible work arrangements. A large number of employers realise that flexible working benefits all concerned and are willing to consider the arrangement. However, although an employee may have a statutory right to apply for flexible working, an employer doesn’t have to agree to the request. An employer may decline the request if there are reasonable business grounds to do so.

There are a number of rights for employees and it’s a complex area for employees and employers.

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