Employment rights

To prevent exploitation, the government has passed a number of laws that safeguard staff:

  • Workers are guaranteed a minimum hourly wage rate of £6.31 per hour in 2013.
  • Race, sex, age or disability discrimination is illegal. Businesses must be careful to treat all workers fairly. They must offer equal pay and promotion opportunities for women and ethnic minorities.
  • The EU Working Time Directive sets a limit on the number of hours staff can work in a week.
  • Parents are entitled to paid leave from work soon after their children are born. The firms must keep their post open for when they return from maternity or paternity leave.

Protecting workers rights increases the costs of firms.