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Main employment rights checklist

Employees have a range of statutory rights which give minimum employment entitlements once any qualifying criteria have been satisfied.

All employees have the following statutory rights regardless of length of service:

  • to receive a written statement of terms within two months of starting work

  • to be remunerated at a rate not less than the national minimum wage

  • to receive an itemised pay statement

  • to work not more than an average of 48 hours a week (including overtime)

  • to receive a 20-minute rest break away from the workstation after six hours (employees under 18 years old are entitled to a 30-minute break after four and a half hours)

  • to receive statutory sick pay

  • to receive a minimum of 4.6 weeks' paid annual holiday (increasing to 5.6 weeks on 1 April 2009 (this can include bank holidays. This will increase part-time workers' entitlement which is calculated on a pro-rata basis)

  • to take 52 weeks maternity leave

  • to be entitled to non-pay benefits during ordinary and additional maternity leave (as from 6 October 2008)

  • to take (paid) reasonable time off for ante-natal appointments (including relaxation and parent-craft classes during pregnancy)

  • to have access to stakeholder pension arrangements and the ability to make monthly contributions by deduction from salary (only if the practice has five or more employees)

  • to take reasonable time off for trade union duties and activities and certain public duties

  • to be accompanied by a fellow employee or trade union official at disciplinary and grievance meetings.

After one month's continuous service:

  • to receive a guaranteed payment when there is a temporary shortage of work

  • to receive one week's notice of termination of employment, increasing by one week for every year worked (up to a maximum of 12 weeks).

After for a period of employment of 26 weeks into the 15th week before the expected week of childbirth:

  • to receive Statutory Maternity Pay for 39 weeks.

After 26 weeks’ service:

  • an employee with a child under six years old or 18, if the child is registered disabled, has the right to request flexible working, be accompanied by a work colleague at a formal meeting and have the right to appeal the decision

  • an employee with the responsibility for caring for an adult also has the right to request flexible working.

After one year's continuous service:

  • to take unpaid parental leave for 13 weeks (up to a maximum of four weeks per year) if the  employee has a child (natural or adopted) under five years old (to be taken before the child's fifth birthday) or under 18 years old if the child is disabled

  • not to be unfairly dismissed.

After two years’ continuous service:

  • to be entitled to a statutory redundancy payment

  • to have time off with pay to seek alternative work or to arrange training in a redundancy situation.