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YOUR VIEW; Today Joe Michna, Manager, Citizens Advice Hartlepool, talks about dismissal for asserting a statutory right.

Q What is a statutory right in employment law? A. Statutory rights are given by Acts of Parliament rather than through a contract of employment. Asking for what you are entitled to by law is called "asserting a statutory right". If you have been dismissed for trying to exercise a right, you can make a claim for automatic unfair dismissal. Q. Does a worker have to have worked for his/ her employer for a certain period of time to be able to make a claim of automatically unfair dismissal? A. Unlike ordinary unfair dismissal for which a worker must have been employed for two continuous years before being able to make a claim of unfair dismissal, there is no such time limit for automatically unfair dismissal.

Q. What are some examples of statutory employment rights? A. If you can show to an Employment Tribunal that the main reason that you have been dismissed was because you tried to assert a statutory right, your dismissal will be automatically unfair. It does not matter whether you actually have the right or not, or whether it's actually been infringed. Some examples of statutory rights are : | An itemised pay slip; | | To be paid at least the National Minimum Wage; | Paid holidays; | | Weekly and daily rest breaks; | To work a maximum 48 hours each week; | Not to have illegal deductions from your pay.

Q. Do you have to tell your employer which right you are trying to assert? A. An Employment Tribunal would not expect you to know what right under which section of employment law you are trying to assert. However, to be protected you must have made it clear to your employer which statutory right you asked for. For example, a tribunal would not have expected you to have asked for paid holiday under the Working Time Regulations 1998, but they will expect you to have asked for paid holidays.

Q. What other steps can I take to enforce a statutory right? A. Before making a claim to an Employment Tribunal it is always advisable to go through any workplace grievance procedure that is available. If you are a member of a trade union you should involve your union representative.

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Dec 18, 2017
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