Four in five Brits (79.3%) lack sufficient knowledge when it comes to their legal rights at work, according to research by LegalShield, the legal services provider.
The news comes as National Work Life Week begins, an initiative aimed at promoting wellbeing at work across the UK. The new research highlights the widespread lack of knowledge and understanding when it comes to legal rights in the workplace. Millions of Brits – a third of people questioned (34%) – had experienced an issue at work over the course of their career and nearly half (46%) didn’t to seek professional legal advice.
Many of us will experience an issue at work at some point – this could include anything from not being paid for overtime properly and harassment and discrimination, to wrongful termination, or even posting something on social media. Some might be inclined to complain to management but very few people have a clear understanding of when these issues at work actually become a legal matter.
LegalShield’s study also unveils a ‘justice gap’ when it comes to accessing legal assistance for employment issues, with those earning £50,000 and above 64% more likely to seek professional legal support for workplace issues than people earning between £10,000-£25,000.
Mike Roberts, Managing Director at LegalShield, commented: “It’s certainly difficult to predict when legal issues will arise 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 cause situations to become much more serious. If employees aren’t empowered to know when and how to take action, a simple issue can cause enormous worry and stress.
“Employers should look to assist their employees when it comes to legal rights, both raising awareness of employee rights and helping to foster positive, inclusive workplace cultures.”