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Business & Economy

4 in 5 UK workers are unsure of their legal rights at work

A new piece of research by legal services provider LegalShield UK reveals a large knowledge gap around legal rights in the workplace.

Nationwide, 80 per cent of people surveyed admitted to lacking essential knowledge when it comes to their legal employment rights. In Newcastle, the figure was 82 per cent.

The report also found that 27 per cent of people from Newcastle have gone through a legal dispute in the workplace and over half who have had a legal employment issue do not even attempt to seek professional advice.

Typically, the kinds of legal issues one might face could be anything from not being paid for overtime, harassment and discrimination to wrongful termination or even posting something unacceptable on social media.

Very few people have a clear understanding of when these issues become a legal matter, which prevents them from seeking professional help.

Mike Roberts, managing director at LegalShield UK, commented: “It’s certainly difficult to predict when legal issues will occur in the workplace, but it’s clear from our research that many of us will encounter a problem that requires legal support throughout our careers.

“The knowledge gap we’ve uncovered can sometimes lead to seemingly small situations escalating. If employees aren’t empowered to know when and how to take action, a simple issue that could be solved easily could snowball into causing enormous worry and stress.

“Employers should look to support employees when it comes to legal rights, both raising awareness of rights within the workplace and more broadly foster a positive, inclusive workplace culture.”