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Rights at work

Advice about getting paid, holiday, bullying, unions and other resources.
A young person with glasses laughs with someone whose back is turned to the camera
Imaan laughs with a member of the Arts Emergency team at a Celebration Event. Photo: Liam Charles

Getting Paid

  • The minimum wage hourly rate depends on your age and whether you’re an apprentice. You must be at least school leaving age to get the National Minimum Wage.
  • You must be at least aged 23 to get the National Living Wage—the minimum wage will still apply for workers aged 24 and under. To see the current rate for the Living wage go to The London Living Wage website.
  • You will receive the national minimum wage if you're aged under 23 or an apprentice.
  • You can use the minimum wage calculator to check whether the National Minimum Wage or National Living Wage is being paid.
  • Contact Acas if you’re not getting the National Minimum Wage and think you should be.
  • The rates for National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage are readjusted every year, usually in April (marking the new tax year).


You’re entitled to paid holiday if you’re a worker. This includes:

  • employees
  • apprentices
  • zero-hours workers
  • casual workers
  • agency workers

Check if you're entitled to paid holidays and when you are able to take those days off. It’s up to your employer to decide whether or not you have to work on bank holidays.

Bullying and Harrassment

You have the right to work in an environment which is free from bullying and harassment.

ACAS defines harassment as unwanted conduct that has the purpose or effect of violating a person’s dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for that individual with regard to all the circumstances including the perception of the victim.

Bullying is a serious form of harassment characterised by ACAS as being offensive, intimidating, malicious or insulting behaviour, an abuse or misuse of power through means that undermine, humiliate, denigrate or injure the recipient.

Inappropriate behaviour, particularly bullying, can be obvious, for example:

  • abuse of power or authority
  • verbal, written and/or physical intimidation e.g. threats, derisory remarks
  • abusive language
  • physical attack
  • humiliating a member of staff in front of colleagues or in private
  • setting impossible deadlines/objectives or intolerable workload burdens
  • withdrawing responsibilities or decision-making powers without good reason or explanation
  • shouting at a member of staff to get things done
  • picking on one person when there is a common problem
  • consistently undermining someone and their ability to do their job

If you experience bullying, discrimination and harassment in your place of work, there should be grievance procedures in place to help you resolve this issue. You can also seek help from your union rep, who should be able to to help you.

Trade unions

Trade unions are groups of employees who join together to maintain and improve their conditions of employment. Most unions are structured as a network of local branches with reps in every workplace. Union reps can:

  • negotiate agreements with employers on pay and conditions
  • discuss major changes such as redundancy
  • discuss members’ concerns with employers
  • accompany members to disciplinary and grievance meetings
  • help members with legal and financial problems

If you would like to join a union, we recommend that you:

  • join a union related to your trade
  • consider joining the union which other people in your network and/or organisation have joined.
  • look into the Trade Union Congress website to explore which union might be a great fit for you
  • check out our Money and Wellbeing resource page where you can find commonly used unions and their rate cards