About the UK Minimum Wage
The UK government implemented a minimum hourly wage to avoid workers being exploited and to lift more people out of poverty.
Your employer is legally required to pay you at or above minimum wage.
What is the minimum wage in the UK?
The minimum wage depends on your age and applies as follows:
• £6.08 – the main rate for workers aged 21 and over
• £4.98 – the minimum rate for those between 18 and 20
• £3.68 – the rate for 16 or 17 year old workers, who are above school leaving age but under 18
• £2.60 – the apprentice rate; for apprentices in the first year of their apprenticeship
Is there anything else I should receive from my employer?
Yes. When you get a job, your employer should provide you with a contract to sign that will contain details of your holiday allowances, along with other benefits, and outline what you will receive in terms of sick pay.
Basic employee rights
Employees in the UK are protected by the government and have a series of rights, as well as responsibilities.
Do I have any rights as an employee of a British company?
Yes, here is a list of the main ones:
• You are entitled to 5.6 weeks of paid holiday or more.
• You have the right not to work more than 48 hours per week.
• Your health and safety must be protected; your employer has a legal ‘duty of care’.
• Workers have the right to a break of at least 11 hours between working days, and to a short break during the working day.
There are many others; for a full list and explanation of your working rights visit www.direct.gov.uk .
How are these rights upheld?
Your contract acts as an agreement whereby both the employer and the employee are legally bound to adhere to the conditions outlined in the document. You have the right to take legal action if you feel your rights are being abused at work.
What can I do if my rights are violated at work?
Your human rights in the workplace are protected by the law. If your employer is a public authority, they must follow the principles of the Human Rights Act. Before officially reporting any breach of your rights, you should first speak to your employer to try and resolve the issue.
Your contract should state a series of actions to take in this situation, so be sure that your first step is always consulting your contract. If internal solutions do not work, it is then advisable for you to consult a solicitor.