You are on page 1of 19

EMPLOYEE RIGHTS

Submitted by:
Estrada, Eric Emmanuel H.
Submitted to:
Atty. Sarah Delos Santos

Ethics 110/ BY02


I.

Introduction
Employers take on employees to do a job. That job may be
providing some form of service or it could be a contribution to the
actual production of a good. Employers, therefore, expect the
employee to do the job they are employed for to the best of their ability
and in return pay them a wage or salary for the work they do.

Because we are dealing with human beings, there can be many


complications to this seemingly simple relationship. Complications
can come in the form of discrimination, relationships, prejudices,
stereotypes,

poor

communication,

misunderstandings,

misinformation, differing aims and objectives and plain ignorance!

Employers and employees have responsibilities to each other,


they should also expect their rights to be upheld. These rights and
responsibilities relate to areas such as Health and Safety, the
provision

of

Terms

and

Conditions

of

Employment,

Equal

Opportunities and the right to be paid a Minimum Wage. The Health

and Safety at Work Acts set out responsibilities and rights for both
employees and employers. Employees are expected to carry out their
work in a way that has regard to the safety of others. Employers are
expected to abide by a range of requirements governing such aspects
as providing safe machinery and equipment, carrying out regular
health and safety checks, ensuring the training of employees in health
and safety issues, and carrying out a risk assessment to assess the
dangers of

particular work activities.

There are also

specific

regulations about the way in which potentially harmful substances


should be used and stored. There are a number of requirements about
the minimum temperature at work, and other aspects of working
conditions.
II.

Statement of the Problem


The study sought to answer the following questions:
1.) What are the rights of the employees that gives them benefits on
companys operation?
2.) What are the rights that protect the employees in case the
companys operation cause them harm?

III.

Theoretical Framework
Minimum Wage

It sets a minimum floor to wages. The rate is currently reviewed


annually with any changes coming into effect on 1 October each year.
Three rates are set covering: workers aged 22 and over; workers aged
18 21; and workers aged 16 17. Almost all workers are entitled to
the NMW, including agency workers, part-time workers, casual
workers, home workers, and foreign workers - irrespective of
experience. The only time an employer can make a deduction from a
workers wages which takes their pay below the minimum wage is if
they live in accommodation provided by the employer although there
is a limit to the amount of pay that can be deducted for this purpose.

Holiday Leave and Pay


A full time worker is currently entitled to a minimum of 5.6
weeks (28 days) paid annual holiday a year, which can include bank
and public holidays. Part-time workers are entitled to paid holiday
entitlement proportionate to the number of days they work each week.
Holiday entitlement starts building up from a workers first day at
work accruing at one twelfth of their entitlement for each month
worked. Holiday pay must be based on the workers average pay. If, for
example, their normal pay includes additional money for unsocial

hours, so must holiday pay. If someone stops working they are entitled
to be paid for any leave not taken.
Part-time Rights
Part-time workers must be treated no less favourably than
comparable full time equivalents. For example, they should get the
same hourly rates of pay, the same leave entitlements proportionate to
the number of days they work each week, the same entitlement to
parental leave and the same access to promotion opportunities.

Agency Workers Rights


Agency workers are usually considered to be workers (not
employees), but they are entitled to basic employment rights
including: the national minimum wage, paid holiday, rest breaks and
limits on working time, not to be discriminated against under any of
the equality legislation, protection under health and safety laws
Employment agencies must also comply with special regulations
which provide additional safeguards for temporary workers. Agencies,

for example: Must provide workers with written terms and conditions
setting out the expected rate of pay, the type of work the agency will
try to find, the length of notice and other relevant details. Pay for any
work undertaken regardless of whether the agency has been paid by
the hirer or not. Must not charge workers fees for finding or seeking
work.
Discrimination Issues
There are two types of discrimination direct and indirect.
It is worth noting that if certain conditions or requirements in a job
can be shown to be genuine occupational qualifications then they
might not be discriminatory. For example, it might be justified for the
owner of a Chinese or a Greek restaurant to advertise for a Chinese or
a Greek waiter because the restaurant setting requires this. It might
be justifiable for a hostel for Asian women who have suffered violence
to specify that it wants only Asian women workers on the grounds
that the women would find it easier to relate to and communicate with
people of the same racial group. It might be justifiable for a care home
for elderly women residents with requirements for personal care to
advertise for a female nurse when there might be objections to a male
nurse undertaking the work. An employer must avoid discrimination

at every stage of the employment process (e.g. in recruitment,


selection and promotion through to dismissal, and even post
dismissal when writing job references).

Maternity leave and Pay


All pregnant employees regardless of length of service or the
hours they work are entitled to paid time off for ante-natal care and
up to 52 weeks statutory maternity leave made up of 26 weeks
ordinary maternity leave and 26 weeks additional maternity leave. A
minimum of 2 weeks leave must be taken after the birth (4 weeks if
the employee works in a factory). They also have the right to benefit
from all their contractual terms and conditions (e.g. gym membership)
except wages or salary during their entire maternity leave period. If an
employee returns to work during or at the end of ordinary maternity
leave, she has the right to return to the same job. If she returns
during or at the end of additional maternity leave, she is entitled to
return to the same job unless this is impracticable. In this situation
she is entitled to return to a similar suitable job on terms and
conditions that are no less favourable.

Written Statement of Employment Particulars

All employers have to give their employees a written statement


of

employment

particulars

describing

their

basic

terms

and

conditions within 2 months of their starting work. Changes can be


made subsequently to an employees terms and conditions (for
example, changes to pay, hours worked, different duties or a new
workplace). Any agreed changes must be put in writing. Many
employers provide a written contract of employment, but this is not
actually a legal requirement. The minimum requirement is the
statement of employment particulars.
IV.

Review of Related Literature


Definition of an employee

Employers engage persons on either contracts of service or


contracts for services. Only a person engaged under a contract of
service is an employee and therefore protected by the full range of
employment legislation. An independent contractor or self-employed
person will have a contract for services with the party for whom the
work is being done. The distinction between a contract of service, and
a contract for services can sometimes be unclear but the type of
contract a person is engaged under can have serious implications for

both employer and employee in matters such as employment


protection legislation, taxation and social welfare.

Disciplinary Procedure and Dismissal

The Labour Relations Commission has published a Code of


Practice: Grievance and Disciplinary Procedures (pdf) which states
that employers should have written grievance and disciplinary
procedures. Disciplinary procedures set out the stages and process
firm should follow in relation to alleged shortcomings of an employee.

Generally, the procedures allow for informal warnings leading to


written warnings and ultimately to dismissal. Under the Unfair
Dismissals Acts you are required to give employees written notice of
the procedures to be followed before dismissal. This must be done
within 28 days of entering the contract of employment.

Firm should give employees copies of these at the start of their


employment. If you are considering dismissal company must follow
fair procedures. This includes giving firms employee appropriate
warnings, making them fully aware of the allegations against them
and give them an opportunity to present their side. The firm must

also give them the opportunity to be represented in any disciplinary


procedures

by,

for

example,

trade

union

official

or

other

representative.

If the firm do dismiss an employee, the firm must be able to


show that that there were fair grounds for the dismissal and that fair
procedures were followed.

Health and Safety in the workplace


Under the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005
employers have a duty to ensure employees safety, health and welfare
at work as far as is reasonably practicable. In order to prevent
workplace injuries and ill health the firm are required, among other
things, to:
Provide and maintain a safe workplace, machinery and equipment
Prevent risks from use of any article or substance and from
exposure to physical agents, noise and vibration
Prevent any improper conduct or behaviour likely to put the safety,
health and welfare of employees at risk (horseplay and bullying at
work come within these categories)
Provide instruction and training to employees on health and safety

Provide protective clothing and equipment to employees (at no cost


to employees)
Appoint a competent person as the organisations Safety Officer
Every employer is required to carry out a risk assessment for
the workplace which should identify any hazards in the workplace,
assess the risks arising from such hazards and identify the steps to
be taken to deal with any risks. The company must also prepare a
safety statement based on the risk assessment. The Health and Safety
Authority provides tools to help firms with these tasks. Employers are
obliged to report any accident that results in an employee missing 3
consecutive days at work (not including the day of the accident) to the
Health and Safety Authority.
Discrimination Issues
Discrimination means treating different people in different
ways. At work, unlawful discrimination is when someone is treated
worse than others for a reason that has got nothing to do with the job.
Reasons why you cant be discriminated against include: gender or
gender

reassignment,

sexual

orientation,

marriage

or

civil

partnership, disability, race, colour, ethnic background, nationality,


religion or belief, and age. Positive action is where an employer gives

support to a particular group of people. An employer might encourage


someone with a disability to apply for a job. But the employer must
still appoint the best person for the job, whether or not they have a
disability. Harassment is any unwanted behaviour that makes
someone feel intimidated, humiliated or offended. It can happen
through e-mails and phone calls as well as in face-to-face situations.
Harassment might not be obvious to anyone else. If employees feel
that they are being harassed or discriminated against, they dont have
to put up with it. They should talk to their manager or the companys
human resource (HR) department and be clear about what has
happened. An employee shouldnt get into trouble for complaining
about discrimination or harassment. Direct discrimination is when
someone is deliberately treated worse for one or more of these
reasons. A man applies for a job as a secretary, but he doesnt get it
because the employer thinks only women should be secretaries. Thats
direct discrimination on the basis of gender. Indirect discrimination is
when a working condition or rule puts one group of people at a
disadvantage for one or more of these reasons. Shop assistants, who
wear turbans for religious reasons, lose their job because the

companys dress code doesnt allow hats or headscarves. Thats


indirect discrimination on the basis of religion or belief.
Bullying at Work
Bullying at work is when one employee tries to intimidate another
employee. Its usually done to someone in a less senior position.
Bullying isnt just face-to-face. It can also happen over the phone, by
e-mail or by fax. Examples of bullying behaviour include:

blaming

someone for problems caused by other people, treating someone


unfairly, picking on someone, regularly threatening to sack someone,
not giving someone training opportunities, spreading rumours about
someone, and giving someone too much work to do. If youre being
bullied at work, talk it over with someone as soon as possible. Speak
to your manager or supervisor, or to someone in your companys
human

resources

(HR)

department.

You

can

also

talk

to

representative, like a trade union official. Its a good idea to keep a


diary of incidents. Write down details of where and when the bullying
occurred, and what happened. Bullying isnt always deliberate. The
bully might not realise what effect their behaviour is having on you. If
possible, talk to the person directly. Describe what has been
happening and explain why it is a problem. Stay calm and be polite. If

this doesnt solve the problem and the bullying continues, the next
step is to make a formal complaint. Your company will have a
grievance policy explaining how to do this.

Hours of work, breaks and rest periods

The company are responsible for ensuring that your employees


are given adequate rest. The Organisation of Working Time Act 1997
sets down the rules governing maximum working hours and daily and
weekly rest breaks.

Leave

Nearly all employees, full-time, part-time, temporary or casual


have annual leave and public holiday entitlements from the time they
start work. Most employees are entitled to 4 weeks paid annual leave
per leave year. Part-time workers entitlement is generally calculated
as 8% of the hours worked subject to a maximum of 4 working weeks
per leave year. Employers can determine the timing of annual leave,
taking into consideration work and personal requirements; however
the firm should consult employee or their union in advance. The
employee can request pay for annual leave in advance. Firms are also

obliged to allow employees to avail of statutory protective leave, such


as maternity leave, health and safety leave, parental leave, adoptive
leave, and carers leave. There is specific legislation setting down the
rules for each entitlement.

V.

Conceptual Framework
Based on the literature review, these are the basic rights of
employees: National minimum wage, holiday leave and pay, sick leave
and pay, Part time rights, Agency workers rights, Discrimination
issues, Working Hours, Maternity Leave and Pay. These rights when
implemented will lead to job satisfaction. The relationship can be
depicted and conceptualize in Figure 1. These rights have different
impact on employees.

HOLIDAY
LEAVE AND
PAY

NATIONAL
MINIMUM
WAGE

SICK LEAVE
AND PAY

PART TIME
RIGHTS
JOB SATISFACTION

AGENCY
WORKER
RIGHTS

MATERNI-TY
LEAVE AND
PAY

DISCRIMINATION
ISSUES

VI.

WORKING
HOURS

Conclusion
Most employees and employers operate under what is known
as a master-servant relationship. The employee, the servant, is
expected to perform his duties under the supervision and for the
good of the employer, the master, under this type of work
relationship. However, employers, if left unchecked, sometimes abuse

their power. Employment laws such as the Fair Labor Standards Act
(FLSA) and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act are designed
to balance out the master-servant relationship so that the employer
cannot abuse or discriminate against the employee. Under these and
additional labor laws, workers have the right to fair compensation, an
equal opportunity for hire and a safe work environment.
The purpose of most labor laws is not to abolish the masterservant relationship, but rather to make it more equal and ensure
that all individuals have the same opportunity to enter into such a
relationship. Additionally, a key principle of capitalism is that
businesspeople should have the opportunity to engage in commerce
that could result in profits. Thus, some labor laws seek to protect the
rights of the employer. For instance, employers don't have to hire
someone they don't feel is qualified, and it is within the employer's
rights to expect that employees show up on time and perform the
duties for which they were hired. These laws ultimately protect the
employer's productivity and, therefore, profits, as well as the ability to
remain competitive in the marketplace. Labor laws offer some dual
protections to both employers and employees. For instance, labor
regulations dictate to some degree how employees should interact
with other employees, as well as how employees and employers

should interact. This can eliminate conflicts that prove stressful to


everyone involved. Compliance with labor laws also is financially
beneficial to both employees and employers. If an employer is
compliant, for instance, he avoids fines stemming from not following
the law, as well as potential lawsuits. Similarly, adherence to labor
laws means that employees are properly compensated for the work
they do and, in many instances, receive benefits such as reduced
medical expenses.
Because labor laws preserve the right of the employer to
profit and the right of the employee to compensation that can be
spent and invested, labor laws are crucial to a healthy economy.
Periods of economic growth reflect healthy businesses with employees
who are earning enough to participate as consumers. Changes in
employment laws, as well as laws on operating procedures in each
industry, often happen during periods of economic recession.
It is important to be aware of employment rights and
responsibilities. Both employers and employees have rights and
responsibilities at work. If you know about your rights, it will stop
you from being treated unfairly or missing out on what you are
entitled to. If you understand your responsibilities, then you and
your employer know what to expect from each other.

VII.

Recommendation
For future studies, the researcher recommend to re-evaluate
or to expand the conceptual framework used in this study. The
researcher also suggest to gather respondent from a particular
sector such as the government workplace or a private business.

VIII. References
o http://www.citizensinformation.ie/
o https://www.gov.uk/government
o http://www.citizensinformation.ie/en/employment