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Your Rights in the Workplace

By: Beth Morrisey MLIS - Updated: 7 Sep 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Rights Work Union Worker Rights

Though it may not always feel like, employees always have certain rights and responsibilities in the workplace. Workers in the United Kingdom are entitled to certain health and safety protections, a workplace free of discrimination and harassment, protection of basic human rights and representation such as in a union or by a rights watchdog agency.

Health and Safety

Every worker in the United Kingdom has the right to work in an environment where risks to their health and safety are minimised as much as possible. These risks must be consistently controlled, meaning that it is the responsibility of every employer and employee to cooperate in contributing to healthy, safe working environments. Not only do health and safety regulations govern the physical health of workers in the workplace, but the mental and emotional health as well. Because employers have a duty to speak with employees about health and safety, a Safety Representative may act on behalf of all workers. Most health and safety requirements in UK workplaces stem from the Health and Safety at Work Act. For more information about health and safety issues in the workplace, contact the Health and Safety Executive (www.hse.gov.uk).

Discrimination and Harassment

Every worker in the United Kingdom has the right to work in an environment free from harassment and protected from discrimination based on age, race, religion, gender, sexual orientation and disability status (at the very least). Discrimination is defined as an employer treating one employee less favourably than another. Harassment encompasses intimidating or offensive behaviours, including language. Discrimination and/or harassment do not need to be intended in order to be present, they may be indirect but still harmful to workers. For further information on a worker's right to a workplace free from discrimination and harassment contact the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) on 08457 47 47 47. This free, confidential helpline is open between 8am and 6pm on weekdays.

Human Rights In the Workplace

It has been said that "workers rights are human rights" and indeed much human rights law is already present in employment laws in the United Kingdom. For employees of public bodies, there is a further layer of protection for their human rights. The Human Rights Act includes provisions for workers to have a right to a private life (free of monitoring) and the right to see any information an employee may hold about them. These provisions can be violated or suspended, however, if an Act of Parliament compels an employer to do so.

Workers Rights Representation

Workers in the United Kingdom are also entitled to representation. For many workers this means joining a union. The right to unionise is protected in the United Kingdom, though in Northern Ireland there may be certain restrictions. The right to not unionise is also protected. This means that no worker can be treated differently for belonging to or not belonging to a union. There are also some workers rights watchdog agencies that can help represent workers. The Workers Rights Consortium (www.workersrights.org) is one such agency that works throughout the world to monitor working conditions and expose unfair labour practices.

Certain workers rights are protected by law in the United Kingdom. The right to certain standards of health and safety in the workplace, the right to a workplace free of discrimination and harassment, the right to human rights protection in the workplace and the right to representation are just a few of the workers rights that are specifically protected in the UK.

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[Add a Comment]
@Dancer - are you living in North Korea?! No firm in the UK should be run like this. That said, if you have only been there for six months you either suck it up, complain and/or leave. You'll be on a probationary period which is a trail to see whether you like the job and/or the employers think you're suitable. I think I'd be walking, personally.
Jay - 8-Sep-17 @ 12:38 PM
Need advice. I started my job 3 months ago and never really had any training. I've been shown how to do a task and left to it for a week or two before being tasked to do something else and then put back. I make mistakes which are announced across an office or the supervisor will storm around shouting. The term "name and shame" is used and they'll shout out who made the mistake. Today it escalated that an issue I was sure I resolved actually hasn't been resolved, but as the supervisor was getting into hot water he decided to bring up I'd been doing this continuously. I was ridiculed by both managers and asked to name areas and then asked why I couldn't get it right, in front of another 8-10 people. I was then told if it continued I'd be taken to a disciplinary. I've been asked to do tasks and asked for help, to later he told I've done it incorrectly in the same manner as above and only then been told how to do it correctly. When some matters arise 1 supervisor makes me walk the length of the office to his desk, where I then have to stand whilst he berates me with at least 4 other people. I understand mistakes are costly to a business but even when asking for help I'm left sitting and the management don't even listen fully to what I am asking so I never have any real understanding. If I ask for help a second time I'm told it's already been explained/shown to me once. I end up so worried about making mistakes, I make mistakes. I constantly feel unwell and on edge at work and usually leave feeling anxious and useless. Is there anything I can do? I want to be good at my job and succeed but I feel like I'm just there until they can find a suitable replacement. They have recently brought in new training staff, who have already received more training than I ever have and they've openly spoken about how they can pay someone off within 2yrs with no come back.
Dancer - 7-Sep-17 @ 8:00 PM
B - Your Question:
I am currently experiencing a problem with one of my managers. I am working in Nando’s so that means I have 1 patrao (the owner) and 2 first assistant and 3 second assistant. So this second assistant has been picking at me for every small thing possible, also saying the way I do my job is wrong, however from everyone else I get a good feedback. For a while now she has been receiving bad feedback about her own job and it seems that she is taking it out on me. Also I have been shouted at in front of my colleagues.I honestly do not know what to do as she is above me and her word counts more then my own.

Our Response:
If you cannot resolve the disagreement between you, you may wish to take the matter to a higher manager and ask for help to resolve the situation. If you’ve tried solving the problem or concern informally by talking to your manager but you’re not satisfied, you can make a formal grievance complaint in writing, please see link here.
AboutEqualOpportunities - 29-Aug-17 @ 3:55 PM
I am currently experiencing a problem with one of my managers. I am working in Nando’s so that means I have 1 patrao (the owner) and 2 first assistant and 3 second assistant. So this second assistant has been picking at me for every small thing possible, also saying the way I do my job is wrong, however from everyone else I get a good feedback. For a while now she has been receiving bad feedback about her own job and it seems that she is taking it out on me. Also I have been shouted at in front of my colleagues. I honestly do not know what to do as she is above me and her word counts more then my own.
B - 29-Aug-17 @ 3:03 AM
little pam - Your Question:
I would like advice please I work in a nursing home and have done for 36 years done all instore training we have since got a temp manager and has told us that we have been told 2 weeks ago that we have got to do e learning on line either go into work on our days off or do it at home it takes between 4 to 6 hrs but we only get payed for 1 hour and if we dont do it before the 11th of december we are going to be took off the rota everyone is worried I work fridays saturdays and sundays we have to have a password to do this which a few of us have asked for I have asked twice and still waiting can they take us off rota can I ask for a extention what are my rights some have been told that it is not worth the paper its written on as we have to print it off when done I dont have a printer as some more havnt got either lots of worried people we will b took off rota untill it is done or untill we have passed can you help please thank you.

Our Response:
I think in this instance I would give ACAS a call, as I don't imagine this will be part of your contract (although I would advise you to have a look before you give them a ring). You will be able to speak with someone directly, or chat on the online Q and A box. It seems rather unusual that your employer has requested you do this outside your working hours, in your own time and that your work may be restricted because of this. You will need to find out your rights and whether your employer is working within employment guidelines. Please see link here. I hope this helps.
AboutEqualOpportunities - 10-Dec-15 @ 11:19 AM
i would like advice please i work in a nursing home and have done for 36 years done all instore training we have since got a temp manager and has told us that we have been told 2 weeks ago that we have got to do e learning on line either go into work on our days off or do it at home it takes between 4 to 6 hrs but we only get payed for 1 hour and if we dont do it before the 11th of december we are going to be took off the rota everyone is worried i work fridays saturdays and sundays we have to have a password to do this which a few of us have asked for i have asked twice and still waiting can they take us off rota can i ask for a extention what are my rights some have been told that it is not worth the paper its written on as we have to print it off when done i dont have a printer as some more havnt got either lots of worried people we will b took off rota untill it is done or untill we have passed can you help please thank you.
little pam - 9-Dec-15 @ 10:02 AM
I am a driver for a lift companyand my boss has been shouting and swearing at me is this correct behaviour. I have been accuse of causing a accident when I was not in the store room when it happen. I just need advicewhat to do next George
weedod - 3-Mar-15 @ 8:30 PM
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