Although you may not have anything in writing when you first start work a contract still exists. Your agreement to work for an employer and your employer’s agreement to pay you for that work is a legally binding contract which gives both you and your employer certain rights and obligations as soon as an offer of employment is accepted.
If you do not have a written contract containing all the terms and conditions of your employment, the minimum requirement for an employment contract lasting at least one month, is that your employer provide you with a written statement of the main terms and conditions of your employment. Your employer must do this within two calendar months of your starting work.
The written document your employer must give you is known as the “principle statement “and it must include:
As well as the principal statement, a written statement must also contain information about:
You should also be given details about where to find the following:
There are only a few exceptions to the requirement to provide a statement. If your employer refuses to give you either a contract or a written statement containing the information listed above please contact an advisor for information on what to do next.
Almost all workers in the UK aged 16 years or over and working under a contract of employment are entitled to receive the national minimum wage.
Your contract of employment may entitle you to be paid more than the national minimum wage but your employer may not pay you less. This is because the national minimum wage is the lowest hourly rate of pay an employer may legally pay to a worker.
The national minimum wage regulations apply to contracts of employment that are written, verbal or implied. Where you work, the length of your contract, your occupation, whether you work full-time or part-time does not matter. You are entitled to the national minimum wage whether you are employed directly by an employer, employed as an agency worker, a home worker, casual or a temporary worker
There are three age related rates and an apprentice rate.
Currently as of 01.04.2016 the national minimum wage rate is:
The rate of national minimum wage is reviewed annually and changes on 1st October each year.
There are a few exceptions to the rules and so the national minimum wage regulations do not apply to any work experience, voluntary placements or internships you may do as part of your course.
HM Revenue and Customs is responsible for enforcing payment of the national minimum wage. Their briefing explains how they ensure that the national minimum wage is paid: Enforcing NMW – Issue briefing
If you think you are being paid less than the national minimum wage confidential help and advice is available from The Pay and Work Rights helpline. The helpline can handle calls in over 100 different languages.
Or contact a SUAC advisor about what to do next.
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