Employment law: Know your rights (Part 1)

True or False … ?

I have the right to minimum wage

TRUE  If you are an employee or worker you are entitled to National Minimum Wage, and National Living Wage if you are over 25, which at the moment is:

Year 25 and over 21 to 24 18 to 20 Under 18 Apprentice
October 2016 (current rate) £7.20 £6.95 £5.55 £4.00 £3.40

I have the right to time off for exams

FALSE – Unfortunately you do not have the right to have time off for exams. However if you give your employer notice they may allow you to take holiday or time off without pay (unpaid leave). Some companies (especially universities) have policies that allow you to take up to 5 days paid study leave if you are full time or pro rata’d (calculated based on your hours) if not, so it is worth checking with HR or the intranet.

I don’t have to pay tax or National Insurance because I am a student

FALSE – (although not strictly to do with employment law). Everyone who is over 17 and who is earning over £155 per week will have to pay NI. If you earn over £211.00 per week you will also be taxed. Both are calculated based on the amount you earn. Most employment contracts will have a clause stating that you are responsible for your own tax and National Insurance affairs, so it is your responsibility to follow up if you are paying the incorrect amount of tax.

I have the right to sick pay

TRUE – Dependent on circumstances – You are entitled to sick pay after 1 days’ work with an employer but only if you are sick for 4 full days or more in a row (including non-working days) and if you earn on average more than £112 per week (before tax). To receive the pay you have to check that you are abiding by the company’s sickness policy, which should be on their intranet or handbook.

I have the right to holiday pay

TRUE – Every employee, even if you only work one hour, has the right to statutory holiday pay of 12.08% per hour or 5.6 weeks a year (equivalent to 20 days + 8 days bank holidays).

For more information, please have a look at the sources: www.gov.uk accessed 20th October, and www.citizensadvice.org.uk accessed 24th October

Rachael Blundell, QTemps Recruitment Manager

* Look out for part 2 in the coming weeks, for more employment law facts and information.


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