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Trade unions and workers’ rights

Informing and consulting employees

Employers must inform and consult their employees on:

* selling the business or buying a new one;

* making 20 or more redundancies in a 90 day period;

* health and safety issues

* If the employer has more than 50 employees he may also have to:

 - consult employees on changes to your pension scheme
- share other business information with your workforce if they request an information and consultation agreement.

See: Informing and consulting employees

Rights of trade union representatives

The rights to paid time off for union reps, shop stewards, health and safety or learning reps or other union officials. See: The rights of trade union reps

Employers: preventing discrimination

Discrimination policy and equal opportunities in the workplace - sex discrimination, disabled workers, older people, compulsory retirement. See: Employers: preventing discrimination

Retirement age

Default retirement age has been phased out - most people can work for as long as they want to but some employers can set an compulsory retirement age. See: Retirement age

Being taken to an employment tribunal by an employee

What happens if you're taken to an employment tribunal by an employee - the process, your responsibilities, and the possible outcomes. See: Being taken to an employment tribunal by an employee

Agricultural workers' rights

The rights of agricultural and farm workers - including pay rates, agricultural minimum wage, overtime, holiday leave, rest breaks, help and advice. See: Agricultural workers' rights

Being monitored at work: workers' rights

Employers might monitor workers, but if the monitoring involves taking data, images or drug testing they have to do this in a way that's legal and fair. See: Being monitored at work: workers' rights

If your business faces industrial action

Strikes and industrial action - rights and responsibilities for employers, when unions can take action and the effect on employees' pay and working records. See: If your business faces industrial action

What's new:

Hartley and others v King Edward VI College

[2015] EWCA Civ 455   Hearing date : 19 March 2015

Deduction of remuneration for days on strike: the Supreme Court upheld the decision of a county court judge tha teachers employed at a Sixth Form College. Following teachers' strike action on 30 November 2011, the College deducted from their monthly salary what the College considered was the value of the service which the teachers had failed to provide on that day. This was calculated as 1/260 of the annual salary.

That fraction was based on the premise that the teachers' working days were Monday to Friday and that all work days should be included, even those which do not have to be worked because of holidays. So the formula is 5 working days a week x 52 weeks a year = 260 working days a year.The teachers accepted that they were not entitled to be paid for the strike day but arguedt that the College has deducted too much; the proper amount referable to the day on strike was 1/365 of the annual salary.

[Original text of the case report supplied by BAILII gratefully acknowledged. Crown copyright: contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0
Legaleze is solely responsible for the above text which is a summary only and the full report should be read.]

Personal data an employer can keep about an employee

Personal data an employer can keep about an employee, and employee rights to see this information under data protection rules. See: Personal data an employer can keep about an employee

Pregnant employees' rights

Legal rights for pregnant employees - including paid time off for antenatal appointments, maternity leave and pay, protection against discrimination and telling the employer about the pregnancy. See: Pregnant employees' rights

What’s new item on this topic [see What’s new page or archive for full item]:

18/03/2014: EU maternity allowance directive for women in spouse’s self-employed business
The Social Security (Maternity Allowance) (Participating Wife or Civil Partner of Self-employed Earner) Regulations 2014, SI 2014/606, implements in Great Britain Article 8 of the European Parliament and Council Directive 2010/41/EU (known as the self-employed directive) which sets out the principles of equal treatment between men and women engaged in activity on a self-employed basis.

Reasonable adjustments for disabled workers

Employers must make reasonable adjustments to make sure disabled workers are not seriously disadvantaged when doing their jobs. See: Reasonable adjustments for disabled workers

What’s new item on this topic [see What’s new page or archive for full item]:

19/12/2014: CJEU rules that obesity can constitute a ‘disability’

Karsten Kaltoft v Kommunernes Landsforening
Judgment in Case C-354/13 Luxembourg, 18 December 2014

Following a referral by a Danish court for its ruling on interpretation, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has ruled that obesity may constitute a ‘disability’ within the meaning of the Employment Equality Directive.

Recruitment and disabled people

Avoiding discrimination against disabled people in recruitment – advertising the job, encouraging applications, reasonable adjustments, work choice programme. See: Recruitment and disabled people

Training and study at work: rights

Time to Train - the legal right to request time off for training or study while in a job. See: Training and study at work: rights

Working with trade unions: employers

Working effectively with trade unions; collective bargaining and agreements, informing and consulting, union subs, the check off, political funds, union reps. See: Working with trade unions: employers

Workplace bullying and harassment

What to do about bullying and harassment at work - the law, action employees can take and advice for employers about their responsibilities.See: Workplace bullying and harassment

References: workers' rights

Employer's duties regarding the giving of a reference.

See: References: workers' rights

See also ACAS advice

Giving references to current and to former employees:

Relaxion Group Plc v Rhys-Harper [2003] UKHL 33 (19 June 2003) 

[Page updated: 19/04/2020]


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More information>
Recruiting and hiring

Contracts of employment and working     hours
Statutory leave and time off
Trade unions and workers rights
Dismissing staff and redundancies