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The legislation

UK employment law has grown steadily since World War II, as a strong trade union movement and membership of the European Union has facilitated statutory protection of employees. Workers protection is embodied in statue: that is, by legislation passed by the Westminster Parliament, rather than in the Common Law. A number of key pieces of legislation protect employees rights at work. The Employment Act 2002 and legislation protecting workers from discrimination on the grounds of age, gender, sexuality, disability and race are all important. However the single statute that most comprehensively maps out workers protection in the Employment Rights Act 1996.

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Basic Provisions

Understanding the basic provisions within the Employment Rights Act 1996 can be important. It may be that you have been experiencing a violation of your rights at work and having some indication of the way in which you are protected will enable you to obtain more detailed legal advice and, potentially, a resolution to any problem you have in the workplace.

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Wages Rules

The Employment Rights Act 1996 determines how wages can be payed and enforces the right of employees not to suffer from unauthorised wage deductions. The Act provides for 'guarantee payment' which guarantees the payment of wages even where an employer is unable to provide work during normal hours of employment. The Act also has provisions concerning Sunday work and gives protection from 'detriment' during working hours.

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Time off work

One of the Employment Rights Act 1996 most important aspects concerns the law regarding statutory entitlement to time off work. Employees are entitled to protection of employment and are entitled to have time off work for ante-natal care, training or public duties. The Act outlines procedures involving suspension due to maternity leave or medical problems. The rights and obligations of maternity leave are covered in detail and an employee seeking redress of grievance over their employers handling of maternity leave might do well to contact a solicitor in regard to their rights outlined in this Act.

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Dismisssal and redundancy

Another important topic of Employment Rights Act 1996 involves provisions related to dismissal and redundancy. The Act gives an employee the right to compensation folllowing an unfair dismissal and also provides for redundancy payments.

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Dispute resolution

The Employment Rights Act 1996 also outlines the process for resolution of disputes related to any violation of employyes rights which is by way of application to an Industrial Tribunal for a range of situations outlined on the 'jurisdiction list' available from any local tribunal office. Following the making of a complaint (or application) to the Industrial Tribunal (now the Employment Tribunal, a notice is served on the employer giving information about the hearing before a panel consisting of a chairman, a trade union representative and a representative from an employers organisation.

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Expert advice

If you think your employer has violated any of the provisions of the Act, you should obtain legal advice on whether, and how, you may take the matter further. If you believe you have a claim or if you are an employer facing a potential claim against you, please use the helpline, email or send the contact form for free legal advice without further obligation. Our panel of solicitors deal with cases using the no win no fee scheme which means that they dont get paid for their work unless you get paid.



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