The Ultimate Guide to Your Rights at Work

20 March 2002

Leading employment lawyer cuts through the jargon with launch of revised guide to the law

Ian Hunter, leading employment partner at international law firm Bird & Bird, has just produced a revised edition of The Which? Guide to Employment. Practical, accessible and jargon-free, this new edition answers key questions relevant to both employers and employees at a time of great uncertainty in the job market.

Just launched by the Which Consumer's Association, the book shows just how important negotiating a good job contract is. With BA, Consignia and Marconi making huge redundancies and with a parallel rise in applications to employment tribunals, there is now a greater need than ever before for both employees and employers to know their rights at work.

Commenting on the book, Ian Hunter said:

"Working patterns have changed so radically in recent years that it can be difficult for people to know where they stand on all manner of issues, many of them affected by EU-driven legislation. There's a real need in the job market for a book that provides both employees and employers with readily accessible, common-sense employment advice".

As well as identifying the key issues, the book also provides practical advice on tactics in the workplace, including the following:


  • Always read the job contract carefully and do not assume a long one is better - it may contain restrictive clauses protecting the employer.
  • Try to negotiate a short period of notice for greater flexibility.
  • Workers who use VDUs are entitled to an annual eye test paid for by the employer.
  • Sacked employees who have worked for their boss for over one year can ask him or her to explain the reason for the dismissal in writing.


  • Ensure that comments on personnel files are in a form you are happy for the employee to see - staff now have access to such information under the Data Protection Act.
  • Employers with five or more employees must provide access to a stakeholder pension.
  • Put in place an e-mail and Internet policy to prevent abuse of work facilities.
  • Before going to an employment tribunal consider settling out of court - legal fees may be substantial in comparison to an employee's claim.

For more information on The WHICH? Guide to Employment, please contact partner Ian Hunter on +44 (0) 20 7415 6000.
For more information on Bird & Bird, please contact Larry Cattle on +44 (0) 20 7415 6156.