Your Rights

Do you know your rights at work? At Unite, we strive to ensure every young person is aware of his/her rights regarding pay, hours, training and security. If you feel an employer is violating these rights it’s important to take action. That’s what our #FightForFive campaign is all about.

When it comes to pay, did you know that:

  • Everybody must be paid the National Minimum Wage (NMW), unless they are self-employed, a volunteer, doing work experience or part of a government employment programme.
  • Nobody should work for free simply to receive their benefit – everybody should be paid for the work they do.
  • No deductions should be made from your wage for meals or refreshments the employer may provide, or any equipment needed for you to do your job safely.
  • Any deductions made for uniforms or tools must be in your contract and agreed by yourself before your employer can do it. Although legal, it may not be fair, and is something you may wish to campaign about.

Did you know that when it comes to your hours, you:

  • Have the right not to work more than 48 hours per week on average
  • Should not be made to work more than eight hours per 24 hours on a night shift
  • Must be given a break of 20 minutes when working longer than six hours. (If you are under 18, you must be given a break of 30 minutes after every four and a half hours.)


  • Your employer cannot treat you differently simply because you are part of a union
  • You have the right to join a union and have a union rep or official present at any disciplinary or grievance meetings in work
  • You have the right not to be discriminated against because of gender, race, sexuality, disability or age.
Take a look at our Decent Work For All leaflet for more detailed info about your rights at work.