Employee rights that  change over time

While many rights apply to all workers, there are others that only apply to employees. These additional rights can change depending on the length of time that you have been with an employer. If you need advice, or think you’ve been treated unfairly, call our Service Centre on 0800 389 6332.

When you apply for a job

Employers must not discriminate against you on the grounds of your age, race, sex, nationality, disability, sexual orientation, religion or because you are a trade union member.

From your first day of work

• You should be given an itemised pay statement showing how much you earn and any deductions that will be made from your pay.
• You have protection from dismissal on some limited grounds including pregnancy, whistle-blowing and trade union activity
• You have the right not to be discriminated against for reasons of your sex (including being pregnant), your race, sexual orientation, religion or belief, disability, age or for being a member of a trade union;
• You have the right to take a trade union representative or fellow worker into a disciplinary or grievance hearing
• You have the right for your trade union to be recognised by the employer to negotiate your working conditions if the company employs 21 or more people and the majority of employees support this.
• You have the right to equal pay with members of the opposite sex doing the same or comparable job to you.
• You have the right not to have deductions (apart from income tax and National Insurance) made from your pay unless you have agreed to them.
• You can claim breach of contract if your employer sacks you without giving you the agreed notice, or breaks some other term in your contract of employment.
• If you are paying National Insurance contributions, you can claim Statutory Sick Pay after you have been off sick for three consecutive working days, and payment from the fourth working day of absence.

After one month at work

• You are entitled to a minimum of one week's notice of dismissal
• You are entitled to be paid if you are suspended on medical grounds
• You are entitled to a guarantee payment if you are laid off due to a shortage of work

After two months at work

• You are entitled to a minimum of one week's notice of dismissal
• You are entitled to be paid if you are suspended on medical grounds
• You are entitled to a guarantee payment if you are laid off due to a shortage of work

After two months at work

You are entitled to receive a written statement of your terms of employment, which must include your pay, hours, where you are expected to work, holidays and other benefits such as pension entitlement. While the written statement is not a contract of employment, it is very important that you have one as it can be used in a court or tribunal if problems do arise.

After six months at work

You are entitled to apply to your employer for flexible working arrangements and you will no longer be required to have caring responsibilities in order to be able to make an application.

You are entitled to Statutory Paternity Leave and Statutory Adoption Leave.

After one year at work

Providing your employment commenced before 6th April 2012, you are entitled to claim unfair dismissal if your employer dismisses you without a potentially fair reason, fails to follow a fair procedure, or acts unreasonably in dismissing you.
You are entitled to request written reasons for dismissal from your employer.

After two years at work

You are entitled to a redundancy payment where:

• Your employment has ended due to closure of the business, or
• Fewer employees are required to do the available work, or
• The company is no longer carrying out the business for which you were employed.

The amount of your redundancy payment depends on your age, your pay and your length of service.

If you are facing redundancy, you are normally entitled to:

• A redundancy payment
• Reasonable time off during your notice period with pay to look for another job, or to seek training.
• Alternative suitable employment with your employer, if it is available
• A trial period of up to four weeks in any new job offered by your employer without losing the right to a redundancy payment.

In some cases you may have contractual rights which improve upon (and so replace) the state redundancy payments scheme.