By law, every employee, whether full-time, part-time, agency worker or freelancer, is entitled to a certain set of basic rights and conditions at work. These basic rights are separate from any rights granted by an employment contract.

Basic Statutory Rights

As an employee, whether you full-time or part-time, you have Basic Statutory Rights at Work, based on laws passed by Parliament, covering all aspects of your employment including wages, holidays, time off and parental obligations.

For a detailed description of all your Basic Rights and Pay at work, follow this link.

For details of maximum weekly working hours, follow this link.

For details of your rights to time off work. follow this link.

If you are a Trade Union representative you are entitled to certain paid time off to fulfil your role - see details at this link.

A Guide to Work and Redundancy, including employment contracts and your employee rights explained, can be found in the employment basics section at AdviserBook.

National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage

By law, your employer must pay a minimum amount on average for the hours you work. This is known as the:

  • National Living Wage (NLW) if you're aged 23 or over
  • National Minimum Wage (NMW) if you're aged under 23 or an apprentice

For details of the National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage, follow this link.

More information is available on the MAG Page - The National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage 

Check you’re being paid the right wage at the National Minimum Wage and Living Wage calculator available at this link.

Flexible Working

All employees have the legal right to request flexible working - not just parents and carers.

This is known as ‘making a statutory application’.

Employees must have worked for the same employer for at least 26 weeks to be eligible.

For details of entitlement, eligibility and ability to delay are available at GOV.UK.

Parental Rights

As a working parent you have certain legal rights detailed at this link.

Parental Leave

Eligible employees can take unpaid parental leave to look after their child’s welfare, eg to:

  • spend more time with their children
  • look at new schools
  • settle children into new childcare arrangements
  • spend more time with family - eg visiting grandparents

Their employment rights are protected during parental leave.

Details of entitlement, eligibility and ability to delay are available at GOV.UK.

Shared Parental Leave and Pay

You may be entitled to Shared Parental Leave (SPL) and Statutory Shared Parental Pay (ShPP).

Details of entitlement, eligibility and when it can be taken are available at GOV.UK.

Time off for family and dependants

As an employee you’re allowed time off to deal with an emergency involving a dependant.

A dependant could be a spouse, partner, child, grandchild, parent, or someone who depends on you for care.

Details of entitlement, what constitutes an emergency and when you can take it are available at GOV.UK.

Employee rights when on leave

Employee rights aren’t usually affected when they take maternity, paternity, adoption or parental leave and some employees can work up to 10 paid days during their leave.

Full details are available at GOV.UK.

Pregnant employees' rights

Pregnant employees have legal rights including:

  • paid time off for antenatal care
  • maternity leave
  • maternity pay
  • protection against unfair treatment, discrimination or dismissal

Full details are available at GOV.UK. Further details are available from MoneyHelper

A set of template letter to your emplouer covering all aspects of maternity at work including requesting maternity leave is available at this link:

Maternity and paternity rights

A guide to Maternity and Paternaty Rights ias available at AdviserBook.

Young Workers

There are very strict laws protecting the employment rights of workers who are over school leaving age but  under 18.

They govern the areas of Health and Safety, what jobs can be performed and when, and how many hours can be worked.

Full details of the employment rights of young workers can be found at the following links:

Contract of Employment

Within the first two months of you starting work your employer must give you a written statement, called a Contact of Employment containing the detailed terms and conditions of your employment over and above your Basic Statutory Rights.

For an overview of Contracts of Employment, follow this link.

Detailed information on all aspects of Contracts of Employment and Working Hours can be found at GOV.UK or alternatively this link  .

Your Employer can change your Contract of Employment at any time but NOT without your agreement to the change, More informationon Changing a Contractsof Employment is available at this link.

Agency Workers

If you are an Agency worker you are subject to different Basic Rights at Work as outlined at GOV.UK.

More information can be found at this link.


If you suspect your employer of malpractice or wrongdoing and bring it to the attention of your employer or a relevant organisation, you are protected, in certain circumstances, under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998. This is known as ' whistle-blowing ' and is legally considered in the public interest thus encouraging people  to speak out if they find malpractice in an organisation.
The formal name for whistle-blowing is 'making a disclosure in the public interest'.

More information on whistle-blowing, when, how and to whom to report it, can be found at the following links:

Monitoring at Work

Employers have certain rights to monitor all their employees while they are at work including postal communications, phone calls, emails and internet browsing.

Details of what this monitoring may cover and how it can be carried out can be found at this link.

Guide to your Rights at Work

For a comprehensive guide "Your Rights at Work", click here.

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