Your rights and responsibilities at work
There are laws to make sure you are being treated fairly at work
They cover all areas of employment including your safety, pay, hours of work and more. With rights come responsibilities, for example at work you are responsible for your own and other people's safety and helping them feel welcome.
- The Young Worker page of the RoSPA website offers advice on your first few days at work and work experience.
- Bullying at work – if you think your employer or someone you work with is treating you unfairly, you may be being bullied.
- Equality – you have the right to be treated fairly and can't be discriminated against because of your age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation.
All employers must, by law, make 'reasonable adjustments' when recruiting someone with a disability, so that they can work. This will vary depending on the size of the employer – they will be expected to make changes that are sensible for the size of the company.
- National Minimum Wage – the law on minimum wage covers all employees. There is a rate for most workers, including apprentices.
- Time off for study or training – young people aged between 16 and 18 have to stay in some type of education or training (Raising the Participation Age). Over 18s may have the right to ask for time off to study or train.
- Working Time Regulations (WTR) – cover the hours you can work depending on your age, including zero hours contracts and holidays.
- Health and safety at work – employers are responsible for their workforce and visitors' safety. Employees are also responsible for the safety of themselves and other people.
- Contract of employment – you should get one within eight weeks of starting. Remember in law a contract is made with your employer when you accept a job offer.
- Payslips – most employees have a right to a payslip from their employer when they get paid. It shows your earnings and anything taken off, such as tax.
- National Insurance (NI) and income tax – NI is used to help pay for some benefits and state pensions. Income Tax is used for all our needs, like schools, roads and hospitals.
The three As:
Advice Now includes advice on discrimination, employment and other consumer and family rights.
Advice Guide includes advice on all your employment rights.
ACAS offers a telephone and online advice service on your employment rights T: 0300 123 1100
As you get older you become old enough to do all kinds of things like work part-time at 14, join the Armed Forces at 16, learn to drive at 17 and as an adult at 18 you have the same rights as your parents and carers.
If you feel you have been discriminated against because of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, please speak to your careers adviser.
If you have a criminal record you must tell the employer, UNTIL the conviction becomes 'spent' and you then no longer have to mention it.
Just for Kids Law - support, advice and legal help for young people in difficulty
- Login and search for our leaflet on 'Your rights' and our guides to options after Year 11, which have more information:
Get Organised 2020 - a guide to your post-16 options
Get Ahead 2020 - Entry level and level 1 opportunities
Need to contact us?
Your C&K Careers school or college careers adviser can help and advise you – get in touch with the careers team in school/college.Or:
- Ring 01484 242000 and press '0' to speak to someone who can help
Get in touch with your nearest centre:
Page updated April 2019
We acknowledge the use of a photo from Broadly, The Gender Spectrum Collection