Employment rights and responsibilities

The following topics form part of the Unit Employment rights and responsibilities.

Employment rights and responsibilities

Employment status and the importance of the contract of employment Employment rights depend on being an employee; the difference between being an employee and being self-employed, the way the status is tested; the requirement for a written contract of employment, factors which must be detailed in this written contract; the fact the parties agree terms of the contract themselves, statute imposes terms (to protect employees) and that courts and tribunals imply terms (to protect employees).

Protection from discrimination The reasons for protecting against discrimination; the ways in which discrimination can occur – direct discrimination, indirect discrimination, harassment and bullying, victimisation; different types of discrimination; equality in pay between men and women, sex discrimination, discrimination against married employees (and the fact that same rules do not exist for single employees), disability discrimination, more recent developments, eg age, sexual orientation, transsexuals, religion and belief.

Health and safety at Work Why we need to protect the health and safety of employees; three areas of protection – judge made from actual court cases, statute through Acts and delegated legislation, compliance with European Union Law; judge made duties – provide safe place of work, safe working colleagues, safe system of work, safe equipment, and more recently to protect against psychiatric injury; statute – basic principles of the Health and Safety at Work. Act 1974; the ‘six pack’ regulations (originally introduced in 1992 to comply with European Union directives) – risk assessment, maintenance of efficient and clean premises, maintenance of plant and equipment, maintenance of personal protection equipment, eg safety boots, reducing manual handling risks, safe use of visual display units (VDUs) and work stations; working time.

Rules on termination of employment Types of dismissal – summary dismissal,genuine redundancy, wrongful dismissal, unfair dismissal, constructive dismissal; controls on summary dismissal; only three types of genuine redundancy, fact that in mass redundancy consultation must occur; wrongful – basically associated with high earners or those on fixed term contracts; general categories of automatically unfair dismissal, five occasions when dismissal is potentially fair, need for the dismissal to be fair in fact.

© OCR 2011

GCSE Law September 2011

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