Employees and workers receive some form of payment in return for the work they do.
Pregnant employees are entitled to up to one year’s maternity leave. Paternity leave is available if certain criteria are met. Parents are also entitled to 18 weeks’ unpaid leave for each child up to their 18th birthday.
Clear workplace policies and procedures help organisations to be productive, efficient and maintain high levels of staff morale. Ensuring that everyone knows how and why things are done is a key component in establishing best employment practice.
There are differences between ‘employees’, ‘workers’ and ‘contractors’. These differences in status can affect their rights and responsibilities in the workplace.
Employees and workers are entitled to various types of leave depending on their circumstances and the length of time they have been employed.
Most workers - whether part-time or full-time - are legally entitled to 5.6 weeks' paid annual leave. Employers can set the times of the year that leave needs to be taken and workers must give the employer notice when they want to take leave.
The hours we work and the pay we receive for that work are two key factors when it comes to job satisfaction, feeling fulfilled, challenged and rewarded. It is important that record keeping systems are robust, policies and communication about breaks and benefits are clear, and that people know their rights and responsibilities.
There is lots to think about when starting a new job, or when hiring new staff. It is important that there are good processes in place so that everyone meets their responsibilities and everyone’s rights are protected.
There are various other types of leave including: garden leave; time off for public duties; and study / training leave.
Problems can arise in any workplace. Below are some examples, though not an exhaustive list. Employers, employees and their representatives may find it helpful to refer to the Labour Relations Agency's codes of practice, sample letters, flowcharts and guides. Our service is confidential and all our resources are free of charge to anyone working to prevent or resolve a workplace issue in Northern Ireland.