Employment Law, What Employees Need To Know


Employment law can often be difficult to understand for the average employee, but the basics of employment law are simple to understand for most people to ensure their terms of employment are both legal and fair. Employment law takes on two basic areas, which are the contracted terms of employment and the employee’s statutory rights. No matter what terms of employment an employee agrees to they must meet as a minimum the rules and regulations approved by the UK Parliament. When the agreed terms of employment included in a contract of employment supersede the laws introduced by Parliament, the contract of employment should always be adhered to.

There are a number of basic laws that apply to all full time employees and must be met by employers of part time workers. For instance, the national minimum wage must be paid to all workers as a basic part of employment law. All workers can negotiate their own salary as long as it meets or exceeds the UK government introduced minimum wage. Another basic requirement for all employees working full time is that they must be provided with a minimum of 28 days paid holiday per year. Employment law in the UK ensures part time workers are also provided with paid holiday days worked out on a pro rota basis based on the number of hours worked by the part time employee. Within the basic rules of employment law is the requirement that a 48 hour working week is the maximum permitted under a contract of employment.

The rules mentioned above are examples of statutory employment law, which is mandated by the UK government to be adhered to by all employers throughout the UK. Employees of all companies are required by law to receive a written statement detailing the terms of their employment, which includes all the requirements of the employee and employer during the employment. The contractual rights of the employee are generally made and agreed to at the time the individual is hired. The employer must ensure the terms of service they reach with the employee are adhered to throughout the life of the contract. During the drawing up of a contract the employer should include a section known as the custom and practice which details all the commonly held practices outside of those detailed in the contract. This can include any commonly held practices, such as days off commonly held for all employees, which are not detailed in the written contract of the employee. Certain contracts drawn up by an employer are deemed to be illegal under employment law, these can include all contracts allowing all or part of a salary to be paid without taxes or National Insurance being paid on the earned monies.

One area of employment law all employees should be aware of is their rights when employment is terminated. This can include the need for an employer to make a written statement detailing the reasons an employee has been dismissed, which must be completed by law when an employee has been employed for 12 months if employed before 6 April 2012 or two years if employed after this date.

Employment law is geared to allow fair practices to be maintained by both the employee and employer, this allows both parties to remain within the law and avoid legal problems during and after the employment of an individual. Each employer and employee should have at least a basic understanding of employment law to ensure all activities remain legal and within the bounds of UK law.


This article was written by Newton’s Solicitors Limited who cover all areas of law both for the private individuals and for businesses.