Career

Do You Know Your Working Rights?

Do You Know Your Working Rights?

For women in business it can often feel like a juggling act, attempting to fulfill a strong career and be there for the family. But thanks to many new legislations now in place you can now strike a balance without any sacrifices.

Whether you manage your own business or climbing the career ladder, it’s important for you to know which working rights can help you continue on your path to success.

It’s surprising how many women are unsure of the rights that have been implemented over the past few years as there have been a number of changes to employment laws offering more flexibility and better processes for discrimination. But getting to know the laws that affect you can help you have a better work to life balance, and also make you feel more secure in your role.

Unfair Pay

One of the hottest topics in the business industry is unfair pay. It was only 2 years ago in 2013 that the UK had the sixth largest pay gap between men and women in Europe. A shocking statistic considering we are one of the fast growing economies.

But as of March 2015 new legislation has been brought in place to push businesses into publishing the pay gaps within their company. This is a big step in finally closing the gender gap, as without just cause it is essentially a form of discrimination.

If you feel as though you’re earning less than a male colleague it would be wise to get your facts in place as to whether you both have the same contracts and job roles before issuing a case against the company. Any businesses with over 250 employees now by law have to publish data about how they pay men and women.

It’s never a nice subject to talk about money, but if you have grounds to believe that you are being treated unfairly, or that you’ve taken on a larger role but not been given a pay rise appropriate to the role then find it in yourself to say something because you are well within your rights.

Flexible Working

An exciting law that was introduced in 2014, flexible working has opened up the opportunities for many women to get back to work as well as help others now work around their family.

This is a law that is available to everyone but has seen the most increase in women taking up the offer. And it’s not just for family reasons. Commuting into the city is known to be a big stress factor and one that has now seen many people either taking days to work at home, or even start work at different times.

The opportunities that flexible working has now brought about can encourage a better work life for many people, and it’s one that should be harnessed.

There are a number of guides to flexible working so ensure that you have a valid reason for amending your working hours.

Put your request in writing, including details of why you require flexible hours, as well as when you would ideally like it to begin.

Employers can turn down your request for reasons such as, the burden of additional costs or not being able to recruit more staff for your absence.

However it’s anticipated that this new legislation will actually provide a better working environment.

Parental Leave

Traditional maternity leave has had a recent shake-up with parents now able to take shared leave to look after their new-born or adopted child.

For many women who would like to get back to work without the guilt of leaving their child with a family member or childminder, parents can now share the time off so that they both have chance to raise their child.

It’s a dramatic step forward in providing equal rights and there are very few people who actually know about this piece of legislation.

With such flexibility around the new law, you can now take the time off when you want.

There is much excitement around this law as for a long time fathers have only been offered the standard 2 weeks leave.

For many women this is something that can make for a better transition back to work, as there has often been the feeling of missing out after long periods of time off work.

Discrimination

Unfortunately discrimination is still something that is most common with female employees. Although the cases are rare and few between, the law is becoming strict with businesses who act in a discriminate way.

There are procedures set in place to ensure that the victims of discrimination in any way, can report a company or individual for their behaviour.

If you feel as though you are experiencing discrimination start a notebook of the conversations and actions that are happening, and see if you can discuss it with a fellow colleague who may support you if it comes to court.

We all have the right to work without any mistreatment and that is what the law is there for, to protect and encourage a strong working economy.

Swot up on your working rights and you might just be able to find that work life balance we all long for.

About the author

Rebecca Bridges

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