Different Employment Rights
We like to explain to our clients the three main sets of rights available to an employee under UK law when we are advising on the terms of a settlement agreement:
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. Rights can be expressly set out or implied. For example, there is an implied term of mutual trust and confidence in every contract of employment. The breakdown of trust and confidence between an employee and an employer is one of the most commonly cited reasons in constructive dismissal cases.
Common law rights – these are those rights that derive from the general law in relation to 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 can be found in 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 two years’ service.);
- 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
- The right not to be discriminated against contrary to the Equality Act 2010. This covers direct and indirect discrimination, harassment and Victimisation. It applies to discrimination on the grounds of race, sex, religion or belief, sexual orientation, and disability to name a few.
- The right to be accommodated by your employer who must make reasonable adjustments if you are a disabled person for the purposes of the Equality Act 2010 Please note this is not an exhaustive list.
The terms of the settlement agreement will generally set out the rights/claims that are being waived by the employee and this could include contractual, common law and statutory or all three. We will as part of the process of advising you about your settlement agreement normally ascertain whether you have any viable claims and also as to the value if any in those claims. All options will be put to you and we will put you in a position whereby you feel fully appraised and able to make an informed decision before accepting an agreement.