If you work for a company you will have a contract of employment. You have various rights once you agree to work for an employer, whether you have signed a written employment contract or not. The company must provide you with written details within two months of your start date and the document has to include specific information. The contract of employment gives you certain rights; for example, the right to be paid for the work you are doing.
Your contract of employment is made up of two types of terms; express terms and implied terms. Express terms are those which are stated and explicitly agreed with your employer and include details such as your level of remuneration, any overtime rates and bonuses, your normal hours of work, notice periods, sick pay and holiday pay. Implied terms are not specifically stated in your contract of employment, but include things like a duty of care, trust that you will not give away secrets to competitors, a duty on your part to obey reasonable instructions, and on the employer’s behalf to pay for any work done.
Your employer is also obliged, under implied terms, to provide you with work and to pay you, regardless of there being work available, unless your contract specifically says otherwise. You may also be able to argue that if other employees are given certain rights or treatment which are not available to you, that you are entitled to the same, so contact Accident Advice Helpline for advice is you feel that you are not being treated fairly. However, this can sometimes be hard to prove. If you have any doubts regarding whether you have a claim, contact Accident Advice Helpline who will be able to advise you
If you are absent from work for a valid reason, for example illness or injury, your contract of employment remains valid. Your employer is required to pay you at least the minimum Statutory Sick Pay, in addition to any amount that is stated in your contract.
Statutory Sick Pay begins after the first three days you are absent from work due to illness and can carry on for up to 28 weeks. If you are ill for longer you may be entitled to benefits from the government, but Statutory Sick Pay will no longer be paid.
You may also be entitled to other benefits if you are off ill and Statutory Sick Pay is not sufficient to support yourself and your family. Accident Advice Helpline can assist you in getting the compensation that you are due, so contact them if you have any doubts. You can find out more about what is actually available by contacting your local job centre.
Your employer is generally not allowed to dismiss you for taking time off due to illness, especially if it was caused by a problem or accident at work. Your employer is also not allowed to dismiss you because of a disability.
You should comply with any reasonable request from your employer whilst you are absent, providing updates about your condition and if you know when you will be returning to work. It is possible that during an exceptionally long period of sickness your contract may become void, in which case you will not be considered to have been dismissed.
Date Published: October 17, 2013
Author: David Brown