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2 Employment - updated version available December '16

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1. Introduction

2. Do I need a contract of employment?

3. Do I have the right to work in the UK?

4. What is the least I should be paid?

5. How many hours can my employer make me work?

6. Does my employer have to recognise my trade union?

7. What if I've been dismissed unfairly?

8. Bringing a statutory claim for unfair dismissal

9. What if I've been made redundant?

10. Bringing a contractual claim for wrongful dismissal

11. What if I've been discriminated against?

12. What are my rights if I work part-time?

13. What are my rights if I'm having a baby?

14. Can I take leave as a new Father?

15. What are my rights if I'm adopting a child?

16. What other leave can I get after my child is born or adopted?

17. Can I change my working arrangements if I have children?

18. Can I take time off if I am someone's carer?

If you are someone's carer, you have a right to 'dependant care leave'. This is 'reasonable' unpaid time off to deal with issues to do with people you care for. Unlike other types of leave, you don't have to have worked for your employer for a minimum period before you can take it.

You can take time off if there is an unexpected problem in caring for:

  • your husband or wife;
  • your child;
  • your mother or father; or
  • a person who lives in the same household (but not an employee, tenant or lodger);
  • a person who relies upon you to help them if they are ill or injured, or to make arrangements to care for them.

You can also have time off to help a dependant who:

  • is ill;
  • has been injured;
  • has been attacked; or
  • gives birth.

You can also take time off to deal with matters if a dependant dies or to deal with an unexpected incident involving your child at school or college.
In theory, you can take as much time off as you need to deal with a particular problem. In practice, the Department of Trade and Industry says that, in most cases, one or two days should be enough.

To take dependant care leave, you must tell your employer why you need to take the leave as soon as you can. However, you don’t need their permission and you don’t have to tell them beforehand.

If you are having problems getting your employer to agree to dependant care leave, or if you feel discriminated against or victimised because you take it, you can take your case to an employment tribunal.

19. Further Help

20. About this leaflet







This leaflet is published by the Legal Services Commission (LSC). It was written in association with Ian Hunter, Head of the Employment Department, Bird & Bird, Solicitors.

The leaflets are regularly updated but the law may have changed since they were printed so the information in them may be incorrect or out of date.

Leaflet Version: January 2016




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