Employee (Paye) - Employee rights and obligations

Rights of employees

In our field of work we often see controversial situations between employers and employees. In some cases, it turns out that there is no unfair treatment, only a misunderstanding due to inexact agreements, or misinterpreted employee status. To avoid annoyance, unnecessary legwork and stressful situations with employers or colleagues, it is important to be aware of employee rights and obligations.

As a first step, it is crucial to understand how the employment system works.

Employee rights are fundamentally determined by law, but can significantly be influenced by employment category and the agreement with the employer. Agreements, however, cannot shorten rights provided by law, but may, in some cases, on the basis of employee’s stipulation, delay them. 
Generally applicable employee rights are difficult to list without mentioning all the exceptions, since every employee group has its unique set of rights.

General rights can be summarised as below:

  • a minimum wage determined by law
  • protection in case of unlawful deductions by the employer
  • paid holidays for a minimum specified period
  • minimum specified break time during working hours
  • not to work more than the required 48 hours, unless voluntarily done so
  • protection against illegal discrimination, unlawful treatment, or iniquity
  • regular wages paid in a prearranged way and frequency

And moreover, the following:

  • at least a basic statement of the terms and conditions of employment
  • statutory sick pay
  • paid paternity, maternity or adoption leave
  • requesting flexible working hours
  • stay away due to unforeseen circumstances
  • statutory severance pay

It is possible, however, that the employer determines a certain time period after which the above listed rights are applicable.

In addition, if the employer wants to provide more benefits than that determined by law, for example a longer notice period or more paid holidays, of course, he or she is free to do so. However, it must be ensured that these points are incorporated in the agreement, preferably in writing.