Employment legislation


Employment legislation provides a wide range of rights and obligations with regards to various aspects of employment. These rights and obligations are in addition to those existing under an employment contract.

The main areas covered by employment legislation include:

General statutory rights of the employee:

Employment legislation such as the Employment Rights Act 1996, the Employment Act 2008, the Employment Relations Act 2004, and the Work and Families Act 2006 provide statutory rights to the employee, and thus impose statutory obligations upon the employer, such as:

  • A right to a written statement of the terms of employment
  • A right to an itemised pay statement
  • A right to maternity leave
  • A right to pay in compensation for being made redundant
  • A right not to be unfairly dismissed

Unfair dismissal:

The main employment legislation governing unfair dismissal is the Employment Rights Act 1996. The act provides that an unfair dismissal is a termination of employment by the employer, with or without notice of termination of employment, where either:

  • The reason for dismissal is automatically unfair
  • The reason for dismissal is neither one of the five statutory fair reasons nor falls into the category of some ‘other substantial reason’
  • The employer did not act reasonably in making the decision to dismiss or follow a fair procedure

Health and safety at work:

The Health & Safety Act 1974 provides rights and obligations for both employees and employers regarding health and safety at work. Within this act employers have a duty, so far as is reasonably practical, to ensure the health, safety and welfare of their employees.

Anti-discrimination and equal opportunity:

Various sex, race and disability discrimination legislation such as Race Discrimination Act 1976, the Sex Discrimination Act 1975, the Equal Pay Act 1970, and the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 provide protection for workers against discrimination at work on the grounds of sex, gender reassignment, sexual orientation, religion or belief, race, disability, age and the membership or non-membership of a trade union.

If you would like to obtain legal advice on employment legislation, then Caven can put you in touch with a local specialist employment solicitor free of charge. So, if you have any questions or would like our help in finding local employment solicitors please call us at 08001 221 2299 or complete the web-form above.

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