How can I get my employer to give me my work rights?

Employers deny you your rights for a mix of reasons. Sometimes it is because they don't know what their responsibilities are. Sometimes it is because they have always managed to get away with it, but will back down if challenged. And sometimes it is because they rely on fear and exploitation to make their profits. There is a legal remedy for all the rights described in this section.

But that does not mean it is always an easy process to have your rights recognised. Bad employers can and do victimise staff who insist on their legal rights. The best way to proceed is to take advice from your trade union, or if you are not a member find out the best one for you and your colleagues to join, and then take its advice.

The more colleagues who join the union where you work, the stronger the union’s voice will be. If enough people join, the union will be able to apply for formal recognition by your employer, even if your employer resists it. The union will then be able to negotiate decent wages and other terms and conditions on your behalf, through a process known as 'collective bargaining'.

Note: This content is provided as general background information and should not be taken as legal advice or financial advice for your particular situation. Make sure to get individual advice on your case from your union, a source on our free help page or an independent financial advisor before taking any action.