It is estimated that about 90% of new job openings in the UK are occupied by foreign workers, or at least this was the situation in 2010-2011, according to the Daily Mail. Under these circumstances, it is absolutely natural for foreign workers to be increasingly aware of their rights. Here are some questions they might ask and the answers.
Do I have the same rights as British workers?
Yes, foreign workers and immigrants have the same rights as UK workers.
Can I work in the UK, no matter what is my country of origin?
Yes, you can, if you are from the European Economic Area or Switzerland. People from countries which have joined the EU recently need to get permission from the UK Border Agency. People from outside the EU are accepted if they are highly skilled workers, have an offer to take up skilled work or have studied in the UK and want to remain there to search for skilled work.
Can the employer keep my passport?
Not more than a day. Holding on to one’s passport without their agreement is illegal.
What are my rights?
- Minimum wage, which varies depending on the age.
- Receiving a payslip telling you how much money you are being paid and how much your employer takes from you for various expenses.
- Working no more than 48 hours a week.
- Paid holidays. People working five days a week get a 28 days paid holiday a year.
- Health and safety protection.
- The freedom to quit.
What should I do if I am being discriminated against at work?
- Joining a trade union, which may help you even take your employer to court;
- Becoming part of a community organisation. It is helpful finding fellow countrymen and enjoying their support.
- Asking for free advice from a local law centre.
These rights are the same whether you are working in a full time position or a part time job so remember this when searching and applying for vacancies.