Your Rights at Work
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Your Rights at Work

Legal stuff is mostly for lawyers and if you've got a legal question, we strongly recommend that you contact  O. H. Parsons on 0800 526 368 and have your Unite membership number to hand. The law is always changing through acts of parliament, European directives and because of the most recent rulings in the courts, so any advice you are given could be out of date unless it's from a legal professional who receives regular updates.

A complaint to a tribunal about a breach of your rights must normally be made within 3 months minus one day of that breach!

Having said that - we also think it's a good idea if you try and teach yourself a few basics. Most managers and HR advisors act as if they know lots about the law - but usually they're bluffing. A good rep who has done their training courses and a bit of research into the problem they're dealing with is usually more than a match for the management team. O. H. Parsons provide Unite branches with advice on a range of legal situations and some of their handouts will be added to this section over the coming months.

You can also check out our tools for reps section, which is less reliable, but concentrates on a few of the more common problems that we have encountered as reps. Here are a few links that may help you with some of the more common questions about your rights -

Basic Rights at Work

Health and Safety

Disciplinaries and Grievances

ACAS Disciplinary and Grievance code of practice

ACAS employers guide to Disciplinaries and Grievances

Age Discrimination

Sex Discrimination

Race Discrimination

Religious Discrimination

Transgender Discrimination

Sexual Orientation Discrimination

Disability Discrimination

Human Rights

Caring for Disabled Children

Parents' Rights, Flexible Working and Family Friendly Rosters

Legal Words and Phrases - A Basic Guide

Reps should ideally know a few basic legal terms so that they understand the difference between, for example unfair dismissal and wrongful dismissal. Management often throw in a few technical terms to show that they're smarter than the reps (even if they don't really understand the words themselves). The link below will probably be good enough for most situations.

Related Downloads

View/Download ACAS guide ACAS guide