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Different Employment Rights

To explain the effect of a settlement agreement, it is helpful to explain the three main sets of rights available to an employee under UK Law:

Contractual rights – these are those rights set out in an employee’s contract of employment, such as job title, holiday entitlement, notice period and right to be paid salary and other benefits

Common law rights – these are those rights that derive from the general law in relation to any treatment by an employer towards an employee such as negligence or defamation. These types of claim can generally only be pursued in the high court to county court.

Statutory rights – these are those additional rights that derive from UK statute. These types of claims can normally be pursued in an employment tribunal. Typically these types of rights are:

  • the right not to be unfairly dismissed (usually only available to those employees with more than one year’s service, two years’ service required if employment commenced on or after 6 April 2014);
  • the right to a statutory redundancy payment (only available to those with more than two years’ service);
  • the right not to suffer unlawful deductions from wage;
  • the right to receive the minimum wage;
  • various maternity and paternity rights.

Please note this is not an exhaustive list.

The terms of the settlement agreement will generally set out the rights that are being waived by the employee and this could include contractual, common law and statutory or all three.

For more information please contact our employment law team on 0113 322 9222.

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