Your rights as a worker are protected by UK law.
Some rights take immediate effect, some are conditional on how long you work. This page tells you what you should expect from your labour provider. These are your employment rights.
You are entitled to:
- be paid the National Minimum Wage
- rest breaks and time off work
- paid holiday
- an itemised payslip
- fair and legal deductions from your wages
- a safe working environment
- sick pay
- a copy of your terms and conditions
National Minimum Wage
You should receive at least the National Minimum Wage (NMW) if you are in a permanent job, on a short term contract or working for an agency. Most agricultural workers are entitled to an additional rate of pay above the NMW.
If you receive piece work pay you should still earn the minimum wage rate. There are a few exceptions, including self employed and voluntary workers.
Call the Acas Helpline free of charge on 0300 123 1100 or check the website for up to date information.
Hours of work
You should not have to work more than 48 hours a week, including overtime, unless you have chosen to do so. Your labour provider must keep a written record to show you have agreed to work additional hours.
You are entitled to take a minimum of one day off per week, and if you work for more than six hours a day you should have a rest break of at least 20 minutes.
You are entitled by law to a minimum number of weeks paid holiday a year, starting from your first day at work. This includes part time and fixed term contract workers.
Details of your holiday entitlement should be in your employment contract. It is based on your normal working hours (pro rata for part time workers), accrued during the time you work for your employer and should be paid at your normal working rate.
When you leave your job, any holiday you have not taken should be paid to you. If your employer will not allow you to take any holiday or you are owed holiday pay, you can contact the Acas helpline or Citizens Advice for guidance on claiming the money back.
An itemised payslip
You should receive a payslip on the day you are paid which shows your gross pay and your take home pay. It should also list the amount and purpose of any deductions which will be taken from your pay.
Deductions which can change weekly, such as tax and national insurance, should be listed on each payslip. You should receive your agreed pay on time, including holiday or sick pay.
Deductions of wages
Your labour provider can only make certain deductions from your wages and they must be listed on your payslip. These include statutory deductions such as your tax and national insurance contributions, deductions you have agreed to in your contract of employment or deductions you have given written permission for, such as transport or accommodation.
Even if you have agreed to a deduction it must not take your pay below the minimum wage, except for a limited amount for accommodation.
Contact the Acas Helpline for guidance on 0300 123 1100.
Health and safety
Your employer has a legal responsibility for your health and safety at work. Your labour provider and labour user must agree who will be responsible for managing your health and safety. You should receive health and safety information, training and protective clothing free of charge.
Your contract of employment should state the payment you will receive if you are off work because you are ill. The minimum amount you are entitled to is statutory sick pay (SSP) if you are away from work for four days or more in a row, but your contract may give you additional pay or benefits.
Your terms and conditions
This is an agreement between you and the person you work for. Legally, if you have been employed for over one month you must be given written details of your terms and conditions. You should receive this within two months of starting work.
Your written statement must include the following information:
- Your name
- Who you will work for
- What type of work you will be doing
- The date you started work
- Place of work
- The amount of pay and how often you will be paid (weekly or monthly)
- Hours of work
- Holiday entitlement
- Sick pay entitlement
- The disciplinary, dismissal and grievance procedures
- Notice you are required to give if resigning, or to receive following dismissal
Your employer can only change the terms and conditions of your contract with your permission.