Do You Know Your Rights As An Employee?
Times have been tough in the workplace in recent years. A lot of people have lost their jobs, and more of us are having to work harder than ever for less pay. It can make you feel cautious at work. You don’t want to make a fuss in case the next cull of employees includes you. But you have rights as an employee. And if your employer is failing in his duty of care to you, it’s important you take a stand.
As an employee, you have a right to regular breaks. You are also entitled to a meal break if you work longer than six hours. Your local government offices will have details of any additional laws relevant to your area. Everyone is entitled to a minimum wage. If you feel you are not getting that wage, speak to your pay Director as soon as you can.
Your Union representative may also be able to assist you if you feel the company is shortchanging you in any way. Working regulations are quite strict, so it is unusual for a business to fall short in this way. But sometimes oversights are made. Unless you speak up, a correction cannot be made. You can’t be fired for bringing a matter to the attention of your manager.
Health and safety are also very important issues in the workplace. The company you work for is obliged by law to ensure your safety no matter what job you do. They are legally required to ensure you have the correct safety wear at all times. Your company is also responsible for ensuring you are fully trained to operate dangerous machinery.
Accidents do happen. But if you feel you have suffered an injury at work because your company was negligent, it’s important to get legal backup straight away. Clay Burgess is a lawyer that handles a wide variety of personal injury cases including those that occur on business premises. Companies are insured for this kind of thing if they are found to be liable. But it is their responsibility to ensure it doesn’t happen in the first place.
If you become pregnant or have a baby, you have a right to time off without penalty. You cannot be fired for being pregnant, and there are guidelines to ensure you can keep your job after your maternity leave. However, it may be necessary for you to work in a different role to suit the needs of the business. The best way to address this matter is to have an open discussion with your manager and Union representative.
Public holidays are often seen as days off work. But some companies will have exclusions in their employee contracts. It can be a good idea to review your contract of employment to determine what rights you have as an employee of that particular firm. Usually, days in lieu are given if you need to work public holidays. Nurses, doctors, firefighters and police officers often have to cover odd shifts like that.
It’s not always easy to know what your rights are as an employee. Your employment contract is a good place to start. Union representatives are also helpful sources of information. If you feel you have been wronged, or your employer has been negligent, consult a legal expert.