If you would like to view a pdf file of the TUC's leaflet Your Rights at Work: a guide for students (text of which is below), then click on the link here http://www.tuc.org.uk/extras/student.pdf
This page is about your rights at work, and sets out the basic legal minimum standards that go with every job, whether it's during the term or in the holidays, part-time or full-time.
This page has been brought to you by the TUC, working with the NUS and the National Association of Student
Employment Staff (NASES).
You should not rely on this as a detailed guide to the law, and should always seek detailed advice before taking any action.
We have concentrated in this page on the most common problems for students doing part-time work or holiday jobs. Other issues more likely to concern those with permanent jobs, such as redundancy, maternity rights and parental leave, are dealt with in a series of TUC know your rights leaflets.
You can order these free from the TUC know your rights line 0870 600 4 882. Lines are open every day from 8am-10pm. Calls are charged at the national rate.
There are many kinds of employment right, and they will vary from job to job.
Some are rights given to everyone at work by law. The best known is probably the minimum wage. Some are rights given to only some people at work by law. For example, you may lose out because you have not worked long enough in the same job. There is also a legal difference between employees (who get better rights) and workers. You may only be a worker if you are taken on to do a particular piece of work.
Some are rights that flow from your contract of employment, which may be written, or may be a verbal agreement between you and your employer. There is more about these distinctions in the TUC leaflet Your job and the law, which you can get from the TUC's know your rights line. The rest of the information on this page assumes that you are an employee.
Not all employment rights start from your first day at work. Some only apply after you have been working for the same employer for a while. But how long you have to wait does not depend on how many hours you work - for example, even if you only work six hours a week you have a right to claim unfair dismissal as long as you have been working for your employer for over a year.
All the rights below apply if you are working permanently or on a shortor fixed-term contract.
When you apply for a job
You should not be discriminated against in a job selection process because of your sex, race, disability or because you are a trade union member. This applies whether or not you have a contract of employment.
From your first day at work you are entitled:
When you start work
You should provide your employer with your P45 from your most recent job. If you haven't got one you employer must get you to complete a P46 form. Some employers may attempt to persuade you that you can work without providing or completing these forms. This is a way for them to avoid their responsibilities and it could result in you being liable for greater contributions at a later date.
From your first pay packet
Even if there is no written document, the law will consider some kind of contract exists between you and your employer, though not necessarily a contract of employment. This can be important in any case that goes to an Employment Tribunal or court .
After a month
If an employer wants to dismiss you they have to give you at least one week's notice of dismissal, (though you must also give the employer a week's notice when you want to leave)
After two months
You are entitled to a written statement of your terms of employment. This must include your pay, hours, where you are expected to work, holidays and other benefits such as pension entitlement. It should also include details of any grievance or disciplinary procedures, if the company employs more than 20 people.
After one year
For a more comprehensive guide to when your rights apply see Your job and the law. You can also ask the TUC's know your rights line 0870 600 4 882 for other useful leaflets including Agency workers have rights too! and Working part-time? A guide to your rights at work.
You should also be able to get further information from your Student Employment Service or Jobshop.
While you may find yourself working unsocial hours and covering difficult shifts, you are still entitled to working time rights. These apply whether or not you have a contract of employment and include:
If you are 16 to 18 you should get a continuous break of 12 hours everyday. You should also get a 48 hour continuous break every week. Your employer may ask you to split these times. In some cases this is legal, so always seek advice.
But working time rights are complicated. Some workers are excluded, and the rules are applied differently in some sectors such as tourism where students may take seasonal work.
If you are aged 18 to 21, you are entitled to a minimum wage of £3.50 an hour. If you are 22 or over, then the minimum wage rises to £4.20 an hour. In October 2003, these amounts will rise to £3.80 and £4.50 respectively.
It is important to remember that only students in higher education on compulsory work placement schemes that are part of their course are not entitled to the minimum wage, as this is an employment right with near universal coverage.
To calculate your minimum wage entitlement you need to use your gross pay. This is the pay you receive before deducting tax and National Insurance contributions. This should also include any:
More information on the minimum wage can be obtained from the government's minimum wage helpline 0845 845 0360, which can also be used to make an official complaint or provide a tip-off that an employer is breaking the law.
The law protects everyone at work from being discriminated against because of their race, their sex, trade union membership or a disability. This protection covers pay and conditions, promotion and all treatment at work, including the job interview.
There is no legal protection against discrimination on other grounds such as age or because you are lesbian, gay, or bisexual. But if you are sacked on these g rounds, and you have worked for the same employer for more than a year, you might be able to claim unfair dismissal.
This is an area where you will need further advice. If you are a union member your union will be able to advise you.
The TUC has a number of useful leaflets available including:
You could also try the following organisations:
the Equal Opportunities Commission on 0161 833 9244 for sex discrimination. www.eoc.org.uk
the Commission for Racial Equality 020 7828 7022. www.cre.org.uk
the Disability Rights Commission on 08457 622 633 or textphone 08457 622 644. www.disability.gov.uk
LAGER (Lesbian and Gay Employment Rights) on 020 7704 8066 for women 0207 7704 6066 for men.
Health and safety at work is very important. Many students do not understand their rights and this has led to them working in some very dangerous conditions. Under health and safety law you have both rights and responsibilities.
Your employer must:
The TUC's know your rights line 0870 600 4 882 has a helpful leaflet called Play Safe at Work that will give you the confidence to challenge anything you think too risky. You can also call the Health and Safety Executive, who enforce and advise on the law (0541 545500 or look in your local phone book).
While you do not get general protection against unfair dismissal until you have held the same job for a year, if you lose your job for any of the following reasons you may have a case for unfair dismissal from day one:
You should take further advice from your union or advice agency if you think you may have a case. For more
information call the TUC's know your rights line on 0870 600 4 882 and ask for a copy of Your job and the law.
Your agency must:
Your agency must not:
Every worker has the right to know whether they are working for the agency or the hiring company.
In the future agencies will not be able to:
For more information call the TUC's know your rights line on 0870 600 4 882 and ask for a copy of Agency workers have rights too!
There is a legal remedy for all the rights described in this booklet. Take advice. Trade union members will look to
their union, but your students union, job shop or local advice agency such as the Citizens Advice Bureau may also
be able to help. If a rogue employer makes a habit of taking on students, you should go to your students' union to warn other potential victims.
Remember, where if you are involved in a grievance or disciplinary hearing you have the right to be accompanied either by a work colleague or a union official, even where no union is recognised.
For more information on this call the TUC's know your rights line 0870 600 4 882 for a copy of You're not alone:
your right to be accompanied.
You can also approach your campus-based Student Employment Service for advice or guidance on any issues in relation to your employment.
Many of the new rights described in this leaflet have been won by union campaigning.
Some unions provide special student membership schemes. These tend to relate to your future career but they may help you with problems with jobs you are taking now.
Last year unions won a record £320 million compensation for their members through legal action. And of course unions help negotiate better pay and conditions.
Union workplaces are safer, and more likely to help employees get on with better training and development programmes. Unions themselves provide training and services like legal advice.
To find out more about joining a union call the TUC know your rights line 0870 600 4 882 or visit www.tuc.org.uk
This page http://www.tuc.org.uk/tuc/rights_student.cfm
printed 20 June 2013 at 13:22 hrs by 188.8.131.52