TUC Reveals Employees are Losing Out on Basic Employment Rights

Amidst the cost of living crisis, a Trade Union Congress (TUC) report has highlighted young employees’ employment rights shortfalls. These include qualifying periods for such rights, zero-hours contracts and low pay. In light of their findings, we explore the disadvantage young employees face and what the TUC suggests can be done.

Then, we discuss how Redmans Solicitors could help if an employee’s rights are breached. If you have any questions or require support, please don’t hesitate to contact us today. You can begin your journey with us now by:

Employment Rights Shortfalls for Young Employees

Discriminatory Qualifying Period

The recent TUC report found that 72% of employees aged 16 to 24 weren’t eligible for essential employment rights. This is because such rights require two years of continuous service with an employer, and many young employees haven’t met this requirement. 

As such, they aren’t entitled to rights, which include unfair dismissal protection and statutory redundancy pay. This number is stark when compared to those aged 25 and above, with only 27% missing out on such rights. This lack of protection could lead to young employees being sacked without good reason and mistreated.

Zero-hours Contracts

Moreover, a large proportion of young employees are on zero-hours contracts. To contextualise this, despite young employees only making up 11% of the total workforce, they make up 40% of individuals employed on zero-hours contracts. Furthermore, within that young population, women are more likely to hold a zero-hours contract, as are young black and minority ethnic workers.

It’s important to point this out, as this type of contract of employment generally doesn’t make an individual an employee. As a result, they aren’t eligible for key employment rights, such as flexible working requests and parental leave. 

If you are unsure of your employment status, please read our article to learn more. It’s essential that you know what status you hold, as this will determine the rights you’re entitled to.

Low Pay and Unemployment

Additionally, the report highlighted that young employees miss out on pay as well as other employment rights. They found the median hourly pay for those aged 18 to 21 was £4.93 less than that for all employees. What’s more, despite National Living Wage amendments yet to come, 20-year-olds working the same job as someone 23 will be paid £2.93 less an hour. 

The TUC also found that those aged 16 to 24 are more likely to face unemployment than their elder counterparts. Specifically, they reported the unemployment rate for those under 25 was nearly three times higher than that for all workers. As a result of the listed shortfalls, the TUC advised on amendments that need to be implemented.

TUC Suggest Employment Rights Improvements

After highlighting the shortfalls concerning employment rights for young employees, Paul Nowak, the TUC General Secretary, discussed improvements. He stated that all workers should be protected from being sacked for no reason. Subsequently, he claimed that “Labour’s New Deal for working people would be life-changing for younger workers”.

The TUC stated this is because the deal would improve employment rights for young employees by, among other things:

  • Removing the two years of continuous employment requirement, providing workers with basic rights from their first day.
  • Scrapping zero-hours contracts to improve job security.
  • Ensuring all working adults receive fair pay by removing the minimum wage age bands.

Paul Nowak added that Labour’s deal would “stop fire at will”, ensure new parents were entitled to maternity and paternity pay and “give them a chance to work for a decent future”.

How Could We Help?

Despite many young people missing out on employment rights, some may be entitled to them. Generally, an individual will need to be legally classed as an employee and have two years of continuous employment. In such circumstances, the individual could have protection, like the right to:

  • Not be dismissed unfairly
  • Statutory redundancy pay
  • Make a flexible working request
  • Maternity and paternity pay
  • Parental Leave

Should you believe your employment rights are being breached, or you have any questions on the matter, contact us today. We can discuss your circumstances to discover your eligibility and advise on how to proceed. 

Redmans Solicitors is an employment law specialist who offers various funding options to meet your needs. Therefore, we can tailor our services to accommodate your situation. To start on your journey with us today, simply: