Here you can find information on your rights as a worker in the UK including the National Minimum Wage, holiday time, sick pay and joining a trade union.
If you work, even if it is part-time, temporary or fixed term you have certain rights. There may be conditions to these rights but you should always have fair treatment. Your rights cover issues such as:
- race or religion
- sexual orientation
- the length of your contract
- and part-time work
You also have rights as an employee according to the terms of your contract, including the right to the national minimum wage, the right to sick pay, the right to holiday pay and the right to join a trade union.
National Minimum Wage
The National Minimum Wage (NMW) is a minimum amount per hour which workers in the UK are expected to be paid. With a few exceptions, it applies to all workers over the school leaving age. All workers in the UK should be paid at least the National Minimum Wage. The current rates are:
- £6.08 per hour for workers aged 21 years and older
- £4.98 per hour for workers aged 18-20
- £3.68 per hour for workers aged 16-17
- £2.60 - apprentice rate, for apprentices under 19 or 19 or over and in the first year of their apprenticeship
If you are being paid below the National Minimum Wage you can contact the National Minimum Wage helpline for free, confidential help.
Pay and Work Rights Helpline : 0800 917 2368*
For more information on the National Minimum Wage you can visit the below websites:
Visit the DirectGov website for more information on the National Minimum Wage.
Visit the HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) website for information on the National Minimum Wage .
Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)
Sick pay, also referred to as Statutory Sick Pay (SSP), is paid to employees who are unable to work because of sickness. SSP is paid by your employer for up to a maximum of 28 weeks.
SSP is not paid for specific illness or treatment but to all employees, who are incapable for work and who satisfy the conditions for payment.
Visit the DirectGov website for information on Statutory Sick Pay.
From 1 April 2009 all workers have a statutory right to at least 5.6 weeks’ paid annual leave (that is at least 28 days' paid holiday if you work five days a week). If you work part time, you are entitled to the same level of holiday pro rata (so 5.6 times your usual working week).
The main things you need to know about your holiday time is:
- you start building up holiday as soon as you start work
- your employer can control when you take your holiday
- you get paid your normal pay for your holiday
- when you finish a job, you get paid for any holiday you have not taken
- bank and public holidays can be included in your minimum entitlement
- and you continue to be entitled to your holiday leave throughout your ordinary and additional maternity leave and paternity and adoption leave
Visit the DirectGov website for more information on holiday time.
A trade union is an organised group of workers. Its main goal is to protect and advance the interests of its members. A trade union often settles agreements with employers on pay and conditions. It may also provide legal and financial advice, sickness benefits and education facilities to its members.
Visit the DirectGov website for more information on trade unions.
For more information on your rights, you can visit the websites below:
Visit the DirectGov workers rights webpage .
Visit the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) website for more information on your rights.
Visit the Gangmasters Licensing Authority website for information on workers rights or to report a problem with your employer .
They have information and advice translated into a variety of languages.
(*Helplines will be answered in English. Ask if there is an interpreter available.)