Employment rights - what should you know?

Everybody in the UK has certain rights when they are in employment. These rights are enshrined in law, and if you're not being granted them then your employer is liable.

Sometimes the rights are relatively simple to enforce, and on other occasions they can be more difficult. Understanding what you are entitled to is the most important thing.

Here are the most common rights - and if you're not being granted these then talk to us and we can get a solicitor to help you stand up to your employer.

Minimum wage

  • Not every worker is entitled to the minimum wage - but if you are employed and have a contract then chances are you are. The numbers are amended most years to adjust to inflation. For more information go to our minimum wage page.

Maternity and paternity leave

  • This area of law is often in the news, especially when it comes to paternity leave. Simply put, there are periods of time to which every person is entitled in order to care for their new-born children, but these vary depending on the situation. Click here for maternity leave and here for paternity information.

Sick leave

  • There are two important distinctions here - firstly whether you are eligible for sick leave, and secondly whether you are eligible for sick pay. To find out more, visit our FAQs page on sick leave.

Annual leave

  • If you are employed, you will almost certainly have the right to paid holiday. Not everyone has the same rights - members of the armed forces, the police and civil protection offices have different rights ro regular workers - but if you work full time then you can take paid leave. To find out how much and more details, see our page on annual leave.

Discrimination and harassment

  • When you are at work, you have the right not to suffer discrimination, harassment or bullying. These can be manifested in many forms - some overt and some more subtle. You may be being denied promotion, or being made to do certain tasks. You might have been denied flexible working for no fair reason. Find out more about discrmination here, and find out what we mean by harassment here.


  • This is another area which gets quite a lot of press. We've heard how whistleblowers in the teaching profession, in councils and in big business have been treated appallingly, when they are, in theory, acting in the public's best interest. Edward Snowdon is perhaps the most high-profile case. Simply put, you should be protected if you are making a disclosure.

There are many more rights. The right to notice period, the right to belong to a trade union, the right not to have illegal deductions made from your salary and the right to request flexible working or time off for training are just a few of them.

Breach of your employment rights can damage your career, your finances, your family life and your psychological and physical wellbeing. Our employment solicitors will provide expert advice and assistance to protect your rights and help you obtain compensation where appropriate.

Call us for free on 0800 533 5787 or use the web-form to the right to speak to an advisor who can put you in touch with the right solicitor for your needs.

Important information

For [selected AoL] law, solicitors will charge a minimum fee of £250 to provide an initial consultation and written opinion on your case. We have a number of recommended law firms in our network who could provide this service to you at the most competitive price. If you would like to proceed, click ‘Paid advice’ below and one of our advisors will call you on a free-of-charge basis to discuss this further with you.