Rights of Employees

Topics: Employment, Contract, Trade union Pages: 90 (32738 words) Published: March 14, 2013
Rights of Employees
1.  Workers and employees
2.  Length of service
3.  Contracts of employment
4.  Written statement of terms
5.  Statutory procedures and the LRA Code of Practice
6.  Wages
7.  Hours, holidays and rest breaks
8.  Sunday working
9.  Time off provisions
10.     Maternity, paternity and adoption
11.     Part time workers
12.     Fixed term employees
13.     Discrimination
14.     Whistleblowing
15.     Employment protection in health and safety cases 16.     Termination of employment
17.     Right to be accompanied to disciplinary and grievance hearings 18.     Redundancy
19.    Money owed on the insolvency of an employer
20.    Transfer of Undertakings
21.    Bringing a claim
22.     Further information
23.     Legislation
24.     Useful contacts

These notes deal with the main employment rights given to a person by legislation and with the enforcement of those rights. They should be viewed as creating a floor of minimum basic rights that can be built upon by negotiation with an employer.  The great majority of rights dealt with may be enforced by complaint to an industrial tribunal. Many of the rates (for instance, Statutory Sick Pay) referred to throughout, although accurate at time of writing, are subject to change.  Accordingly, care should be taken when advising about the rates which apply. There has been a significant change in the procedures which an employee is required to follow prior to making a claim to an industrial tribunal in respect of many of the rights discussed in Rights of Employees. The statutory grievance procedures will no longer apply (save in very limited circumstances) but a new Labour Relations Agency Code of Practice on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures will apply in most cases.  Further details on this are set out in section 5 of these notes. Failure to follow the Code of Practice could result in a financial penalty and accordingly, section 5 should be consulted by anyone wishing to make a claim. The Labour Relations Code of Practice on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures does not have to be followed if the person is not an employee but a worker. The distinction between worker and employee is therefore an important one. Top

Sources of employment law
Northern Ireland (like England, Wales and Scotland) is a common law jurisdiction which means that, historically, law was developed through caselaw rather than through legislation. Common law is still very important for employment law, particularly in relation to contract law and to employment related torts. A tort is a wrongful act causing harm or loss to a person (for example personal injury). This course will not deal with employment related torts. However, much of Northern Ireland’s employment law is now set out in statutory form (Acts of Parliament, Orders or Regulations). European legislation and case-law is also very important in the employment context. The contract of employment/engagement

Much of the rules governing the employment relationship will be set out in the contract between the parties. Section 4 below deals with the contract of employment in more detail. Where there is a dispute about what the terms of the contract are the common law principles of contract law will be relevant in interpreting the contract. Domestic legislation

Many of the statutory rights discussed in this course are found in the Employment Rights (Northern Ireland) Order 1996. However, there are many other pieces of legislation governing employment in Northern Ireland and we have set out the most important pieces of legislation at the start of these notes.  It should be noted that much of this legislation has been amended and care should always be taken when reading legislation to ensure it incorporates the latest amendments. There are some areas of employment law in Northern Ireland which are governed by legislation from Parliament – for example the Disability Discrimination Act...

References: 13.5 Disability discrimination
The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (DDA 1995) makes it unlawful for an employer to discriminate against an employee or job applicant on the grounds of disability.
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