Friday, 11 September 2009

Awareness of Employment Rights on the rise

More than three quarters of people claim they feel well informed about their employment rights – a rise of 13 per cent - according to figures published today by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).

The 2008 Fair Treatment at Work Survey (FTWS) also shows that problems with specific employment rights have fallen with more people prepared to seek information and advice on problems that do arise. In particular, problems with pay and working time (including annual leave) have more than halved since 2005.

Minister for Employment Relations, Lord Young, said:

“The results of the Fair Treatment at Work Survey are very positive. They show the real progress we have made in raising awareness of workplace rights amongst employees and employers”.

“But whilst these are good results, there are a number of vulnerable groups who are still more likely to have problems at work and be less aware and knowledgeable about their rights than the general population. That is why the Government will be announcing further help for vulnerable workers later this month”.

Key findings include:

78 per cent of the working population feel well or very well informed about their rights generally compared with 65 per cent in 2005

85 per cent claim to know where to find information on their rights if they need it compared to 76 per cent in 2005

Specific employment problems affect around 27 per cent of the working population compared with 41 per cent in 2005

In particular problems fell significantly with; pay (22 per cent in 2005 to 10 per cent in 2008), hours/days required to work (12 per cent to 6 per cent); rest breaks (13 per cent to 5 per cent) and annual leave (13 per cent to 5 per cent).

More people with problems are prepared to seek advice or information for their problem (72 per cent) compared with 2005 (53 per cent)

The Government is currently in the second year of a three year campaign to raise awareness of the workplace rights they enforce. The first year targeted agency workers, and led to an increase of 300 per cent in calls to the Employment Agency Standards Inspectorate helpline. The next stage of the campaign will be announced later this month.

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