Human rights are basic freedoms given, belonging to everyone. Our rights are very important because they embody key values in our society such as equality, dignity and respect. They were also created to ensure the vulnerable or abused are given the help they need. They apply to every situation and place you're in, therefore meaning it applies in the workplace too. In this post I will be talking about some of the rights workers are entitled to and why they are vital to ensure employees are being treated fairly.
Right to a Safe Environment in the Workplace
Employees have the right to a safe and healthy workplace which is suitable for all who work in or visit them. Your employer must look at issues such as space, cleanliness, lighting and ventilation. This is an important right because accidents can occur in the workplace if a workplace is not taken care of efficiently. According to the HSE, from 2019-2020, there were 111 workers killed at work and 1.6 million working people suffering from a work- related illness. Taking care and ensuring your workplace is secure means you can avoid tragedies and accidents from happening.
(link for research: https://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/)
Right to be Free of Discrimination in the Workplace
Discrimination and racism is a common adversity in the work place with 49 percent of UK workers aged 25-34 reported to have had faced some form of discrimination. This right means your gender, age, race etc. shouldn't be a factor to why you didn't get the job. Right to a workplace free of discrimination is important because workers should feel accepted, as differences should be celebrated.
(link for research: https://www.acas.org.uk/discrimination-and-the-law)
Right to be Fairly Paid
Equal pay has spread controversy over the years due to the gender pay gap. In 2020, women were payed 81 pence for every pound (100 pence) earned by men. In 1970 the UK parliament established the "equal pay act" that restricted any less favourable treatment between men and women in terms of pay and conditions of employment. Personally, I think that women should recieve the same pay as men if they're working in the same position because gender is not a boundary for your perfomance in work.
Child Labour Laws
Although child labour has declined throughout the world in some countries, there's still some places where child labour is happening, but is being hidden from mainstream media.
Take Jharkhand (a state in India) as an example:
Mica is a group of minerals mostly used in makeup. The majority of the world's mica comes from India with the mica industry worth more than half a billion pounds and India as its core producer. Many of India's mica is mined by children. There is high demand for it in the makeup industry, meaning children have to work even harder to find the substance. They come to the mines everyday despite the dangers of injuries or even death so that they can add to their family's income in order to live daily life. Although there has been some attempts to reduce/stop the amount of child labour in India in some states they still continue. But in some countries like England, their attempts to stop child labour was successful despite the country's infamous past of child labour in factories.
This highlights the importance of Child Labour Laws because as children, we should be allowed to act our age and enjoy our early years. Putting children through labour for long hours with little pay is not acceptable and takes away a child's right to play and sometimes, have an education. In most circumstances, these children don't go to school because their priority is supporting their parent's financial matters.
After reading some of the different rights in the workplace, what do you think would happen if we didn't have them?