Your legal rights

<img src="/sites/default/files/justice.jpg" align="right" width="100" hspace="5" alt="scales of justice">Different companies may have different policies, but the law gives you a minimum of rights in various aspects of your employment. In our view, your legal rights are not good enough, but some of them are useful, and it is good to know what they are!

If you think that your employer is breahcing your legal rights, contact RMT immediately.

Your Legal Rights - Safety

1) The principal safety legislation in the land, the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 (Section 7) states:

The employee has a duty in:

“taking reasonable care for your own health & safety and that of others who may be affected by what you do or don’t do”

2) Under the Employment Rights Act 1996, as amended, employees have the right not to be dismissed, selected for redundancy or subjected to any detriment on the following grounds:

The Disability Discrimination Act - a vital piece of legislation

Disabled workersLike most reps and activists in the union I have not had to deal with the Disability and Discrimination Act (DDA) in any great detail. I am aware of the headline issues: the DDA exists; it is a bad thing if an employer discriminates against someone who is disabled; and an employer must carry out a thing called "reasonable adjustments" for existing staff and potential recruits. But that was the extent of my knowledge.

ACAS Code of Practice 3: Time off for trade union duties and activities

This is the ACAS Code of Practice on time off for trade union duties and activities. Have a read through to check that you are getting the rights to which you are entitled.

Introduction

1. Under section 199 of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas) has a duty to provide practical guidance on the time off to be permitted by an employer: (a) to a trade union official in accordance with section 168 of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992; and

Do Occupational Health And Your GP Disagree About When You Should Return To Work?

What happens if your company's Occupational Health department says that you are fit to return to work after sickness but your own GP says you should stay off work for a while longer? Is your employer allowed to stop your sick pay if you stay off?

No. Case law outlined below explains the legal situation.

Scottish Courage Ltd vs Guthrie EAT/0788/03

Childcare Arrangements Fallen Through? Your Right To Time Off

The Employment Rights Act 1996 gives employees the right to time off if something “unexpected” happens to their arrangements for caring for a dependant. But your employer may suggest that the word "unexpected" means that if you had more than a couple of days' notice, then you do not have the right to the time off. But a recent legal case has established that “unexpected” can include a situation in which the employee had two weeks’ notice of a change to their childcare arrangements.