Moving to the UK – Employment law basics

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Working in the UK will afford you certain employment rights.

Congratulations on your decision to immigrate to the UK! As you start your new life in England, you may be looking for a new job. Here are some employment law issues and considerations that you should be aware of.

Having the Right to Work in the UK

Before you start applying for jobs, you need to make sure that you have the right to work in the UK. Depending on your nationality, you may be eligible for a variety of classes of work visa giving permission to work in the UK. You can find more information about work visas on the UK government website or from your immigration adviser.

Contracts of Employment

Once you have been offered a job, you should be given a written contract of employment. This contract will set out the terms and conditions of your employment, such as your salary, hours of work, holiday and sick pay entitlement, training requirements, and place of work.

There are minimum requirements for what has to be included in your contract, but many contracts go further, particularly for senior employees.  Often, contracts will contain terms about confidential information and intellectual property, as well as restrictive covenants regarding your activities after leaving your employment.

It is important to read your contract carefully and get legal advice to help you understand your rights and responsibilities.

Staff Handbooks and Policies

Your employer may have a staff handbook containing the policies and procedures that lay out the rules and regulations of the workplace. It is important to read these documents carefully.

Employment Rights

As an employee in the UK, you have a number of employment rights. These rights include the right to be paid the National Minimum Wage, the right to paid holiday, the right to take maternity/ paternity/ adoption leave, and the right to be protected from discrimination. These rights apply from day one of employment.

Additional rights apply after certain minimum periods of employment, such as the right to ask to work flexibly and the right to statutory maternity/paternity/adoption pay (26 weeks), and the right not to be unfairly dismissed (2 years).

This note is a brief summary of some of the main points to be aware of.  It does not constitute legal advice.  We can only provide legal advice to clients who have agreed our terms of business.

Please contact us for additional information and for specific, tailored advice for your situation.

Employment Law Solicitor

If you need more help with the subjects covered here then do reach out to our expert solicitors.  You can speak to our employment solicitors online via email or call us on 03300 020 863.

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