Every workplace is guided by statutory laws, containing the rights of employees and obligations of employers.
It still amazing that quite a few people in today’s age, do not understand that the negligence or inconsistent adherence to these laws comes at a cost, either monetary or otherwise.
It may lead to unfair treatment, harassment, manipulation, discrimination in an organization. Hence, an apt understanding of workplace rights is necessary!
Statutory rights or Statutes (i.e. binding by the law) are the ‘minimum‘ rights that employees are entitled to in the workplace.
In the United Kingdom for example, the common statutes span from Equal Pay Act, Trade Union & Labour Relation Act, Employment Rights Act, Data Protection Act, National Minimum Wage Act, Employment Relations Act and so on. Generally, certain rights are contingent upon conditions which would either favour an exemption or an extension while some laws overlap.
Unfortunately, it is usually “the employee” that bears the bigger brunt of an employer’s avoidance of statutory rights or insistence on shared responsibility of any related incidence.
Employees tend to forfeit their privileges and entitlements, as it concerns the workplace incidences such as loss of jobs, death, job misclassification, failure to pay the minimum wage, injury without benefits, denied overtime, lack of privacy, accidents and more.
Remember that factors like these also often effect an employers’ liability insurance (which covers them from lawsuits, settlements, and damages). It is therefore important to stay informed of existing and changing laws — as it applies to everyone in the workplace.
Acquiring knowledge on workplace rights and obligations is not strictly an employer’s duty!
Over the past years, organisations have been focusing strictly on developing learning systems, rather than producing learning agents (employees) who take responsibility for their own learning need. Learning programmes need to be adjusted in our digital world to cope with different learning styles.
Employees are expected to match their work expectations with an obligation to be informed about them through self-learning.
Even though online courses and home learning do not completely eliminate the formal learning in the workplace, it does extend and complement it. Home learning provides employees with a supportive learning environment in terms of peer networks, which can stir motivation and enable them to track their learning progress quicker and easier.
Here are a few advantages of learning all about workplace rights and obligations online;
- People tend to retain more information, if they take the steps to obtain it. It is a personal motivator, it is ‘learner centric‘ and each individual employee controls the rate at which they can learn.
- Home study and digital learning also have their advantage in that it is a ‘just-in-time’ need and quest for knowledge, even though it requires more effort and determination than in formal structured learning. Employees can acquire information about employment law and people topics that concerns them – at a required time.
- It substantially reduces the organisation’s learning and development cost compared to face-to-face learning.
Instead of hiring an expensive facilitator, booking a training venue to educate employees in a classroom form of training, home and digital learning offers an unlimited review of the employment related course work and removes the extra cost of hiring a physical space.
(c) New To HR.