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Rights: we all have them, but very few of us actually know just what we have. This may be because the topic of workplace rights can a bit of a minefield to navigate through.

Your rights as a worker are perhaps best understood when segmented into two distinct categories:

 

Statutory Rights at Work

Statutory rights are the most basic form of employee rights, and they're applicable to virtually all workers across the UK. These rules are enforced to protect workers nationwide from mistreatment, discrimination and unfair dismissal, amongst other things.

While there may be some exceptions to the rule, statutory rights are typically available to working men and women the moment they start a new job. They include basic rights such as the National Minimum Wage, itemised payslips, and holiday entitlement.

 

Contractual Rights at Work

Additional rights may also be granted to you depending on what's in your contract. These rights are part of the terms and conditions of your employment, and the specifics may differ widely from one job to the next.

Contractual rights can provide you with additional protections beyond the minimum legal requirement. Remuneration, working hours, commission rate, pension schemes and notice periods may all come under this heading.

 

Specific Rights at Work

In addition to your basic human rights, your pay and your holiday leave, there are a variety of other specific working rights available to workers across the UK.

While some of these may not ever come up in conversation or necessitate discussion, they are important for a variety of reasons.

 

Sick Pay

People can't help falling ill from time to time, and workers rarely achieve a 100% attendance rate year after year. This is what paid sick leave is for.

Sick pay is typically split into two types: statutory sick pay (SSP) and company sick pay:

  • Statutory Sick Pay - SSP is the minimum amount of pay you are legally entitled to when you become ill and require extended time off. For SSP to kick in, you should be off work with illness for a minimum of four days. As of April 2019, the rate of SSP is £94.25 per week for up to 28 weeks.

  • Company Sick Pay - Your employer may (at their discretion) offer their own sick pay policy that is more generous than the SSP baseline. Also known as occupational or contractual sick pay, the terms of this are laid out by the company themselves, typically in employee contracts or job T&Cs.

 

Maternity Leave

If you're expecting a birth, you are entitled to a number of additional rights outside of your standard daily employee entitlements.

Impending parenthood is protected under employment law through maternity leave. Employed mothers are entitled to 52 weeks' statutory maternity leave, up to 39 of which must be paid.

Women are protected from discrimination and unfair dismissal during this time, while expectant mothers are also entitled to paid time off for antenatal care. Additionally, some employers may also have their own maternity schemes in place that offer additional benefits.

Fathers-to-be may also be entitled to up to 2 weeks of paternity leave. You are also allowed time off to accompany the mother for two antenatal appointments, as required.

 

Parental Rights

Children get sick just like adults do - more often, in fact. To make matters even more stressful for working parents, many schools now abide by a 48-hour rule, meaning a sick child must be free of their symptoms for at least 48 hours before being allowed to return to class.

Luckily, parental responsibilities such as this are usually covered by employment law and worker's rights. The law grants you the right to parental leave if you have worked for your employer for over a year and have official parental responsibility over the child in question.

Employers may also grant this courtesy to some people who don't meet all of the requirements. Most reasonable employers will grant time off to care for children or vulnerable family members.

 

Additional Work Rights

In addition to the above, there are additional rights that can be highly relevant to many workers across the UK. Two of the most common topics of conversation are:

 

Flexible Working

Flexible working is essentially altering your work schedule to a new pattern that differs from your old one. This includes changes such as full-time to part-time, flexitime and job sharing.

This can be approached as either a statutory request or non-statutory request, with the former representing a more official legal approach and the latter a less formal manner.

 

Agency Work

Also known as temps, agency workers typically don't enjoy some of the rights of full-time or part-time employees. This due to the fact that they are paid through an agency, not the company the worker is ultimately placed in.

While agency workers do have many of the statutory rights of typical employees, granting them basic legal protection, they aren't covered for claims relating to statutory redundancy, statutory maternity or unfair dismissal.

Read More: Inappropriate Interview Questions   Browse Latest Science Vacancies

Stressed out worker

Now more than ever before, mental health is a key priority amongst working professionals.

However, some would argue that the stresses of work are taking more of a toll also.

If your job is causing you stress and anxiety, it could be time to make a change - for the sake of your health.

Read on for the ins and outs of work stress and how to cope with it.

 

"Work is stressing me out!"

If you find yourself uttering these words on a regular basis, it may be time to take a good hard look at your current work situation.

Whether we like to admit it or not, stress can have a seriously negative effect on our bodies, physically as well as mentally.

Here are a few things to be wary of:

 

Increased Workload

Trying to clear a never-ending workload can be akin to shovelling snow in a blizzard. A 'to-do' list that's impossible to put a dent in is a clear-cut sign that you're struggling under an unrealistic workload. If you find yourself unsuccessfully racing to clear your in-tray on a daily basis, you may be overworked already, or at least on the cusp of taking on more than you can cope with.

 

Longer hours

An increased workload can naturally lead to longer working hours, particularly when pressure mounts to complete all those tasks you've been assigned. In an effort to keep up with the mounting demands, days become longer, working hours stretch well beyond clock-off time, and the pressure to arrive earlier in the day and make a prompt start can also become greater.

 

No Social Life

When work takes over your day-to-day life, the first casualty is your social life. Time restrictions and tunnel vision can seriously limit your opportunities to spend time with friends and family. As time goes on, this can lead to strained relationships - which could prove catastrophic, particularly if you have a long-term partner.

 

Fatigue

Going to bed tired, waking up tired, and feeling tired all day is not a fun way to live: it's a vicious circle that can all too easily turn into a downward spiral.

 

Physical signs of stress

Stress can take its toll on the body, resulting in not only anxiety but several other physical effects. These can range from insomnia and a lack of focus to high blood pressure and a weakened immune system.

Stress can also have a knock-on effect on other areas of your health, leading to detrimental lifestyle choices such as comfort eating, smoking and alcohol abuse.

 

Other forms of work stress

While overwhelming workloads and looming deadlines tend to be the primary sources of work-related anxiety, it's important to remember that it can come from other places as well.

For example, the morning commute to work can be a daily kettle of stress, unavoidably boiling over when traffic is heavy, public transport is running behind, or an accident has caused a delay.

Similarly, factors related to childcare can indirectly make work more stressful. If your childminder has specified drop-off times, you may only be able to leave as early as those restrictions allow, making it harder to get to work on time. Meanwhile, if your child is ill and you have no choice but to take time off work, this may cause you to fall behind.

 

Coping with workplace stress

While stress at work can be unavoidable at times, there are a few things you can do to combat it. Changing the way you act and react to these stressful situations, both during the working day and outside of it, can really have a positive impact on your mental well-being and overall state of mind.

Here are a few suggestions to help you lighten the load:

 

Hit the Gym

Whether you're into fitness or not, it's a scientific fact - exercise is great for mind and body alike.

Exercise not only helps keep your body fit and healthy, it also promotes the release of endorphins that can help trigger positive mental well-being. Meanwhile, it can also help you to relax during times of heightened anxiety.

 

Be Healthy

While stressful scenarios can easily lead to over-eating, binge-drinking or chain-smoking, none of these mental crutches will help the root of the problem.

In fact, if anything, these activities can make matters decidedly worse and can exacerbate the negative health effects of stress.

Try to make a conscious effort to be healthier in your day-to-day life. Healthy dietary and lifestyle choices can limit the effects of stress on your body, particularly when it comes to fatigue.

 

Switch Off

While it may be easier said than done, switching off from work and taking time to completely decompress can work wonders.

Taking this in the literal sense can be particularly effective, especially for those who have a work phone or work emails sent to their personal phone.

If it's not imperative, try switching off your work phone and/or disabling email notifications during out-of-work hours. You might be surprised by how much this helps!

To kill two birds with one stone, this can easily be coupled with a hobby that you enjoy or time at the gym for an easier transition that truly takes your mind elsewhere.

 

Be Realistic

If you're given 20 hours' worth of work, don't expect to complete it in an 8-hour working day. While meeting an unrealistic demand may seem like a commendable task initially, it can set a precedent that's impossible to maintain.

Continuously working yourself past the point of exhaustion and well into overtime to complete weekly or daily workloads is essentially enabling your superior's unrealistic demands. Don't be afraid to speak up; silently going along with it will only make matters worse.

 

Be Proactive

Stressing out about things you have no control over - such as impending redundancy, limited holiday allowance, et cetera - is futile anxiety. Nothing you do or say is likely to change those things in the immediate future, particularly if promotion and progression are off the table at the moment.

Instead of getting worked up about things you can't change, focus your efforts on the things you can. If you're unhappy about your salary or your job is coming to an end, apply for something new and put your efforts into finding a replacement or something more suitable.

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'Introvert' was once viewed as something of a dirty word within the recruitment industry and the wider world of work. Introverts (or so went the stereotype) were reclusive, uncooperative, and difficult to work with - not what any employer is looking for in a new recruit.

Luckily, the world has come a long way in recent years, and many character traits that were once wrongly deemed as negatives are now welcomed with open arms - an introverted personality being one of them.

Truth be told, being introverted actually has numerous benefits in the workplace, and an introverted individual can bring with them a number of attributes that are highly sought after by employers in a variety of different sectors.

Jobs for introverts

The benefits of being introverted

Being an introverted person can have a number of hidden advantages. Introverts typically possess excellent creative skills and imaginative ideas, making them a great fit for jobs that require originality, artistic flair, or outside-the-box problem solving.

Meanwhile, introverts are often extremely focused, highly productive workers who are undeterred by the hustle and bustle happening around them. What’s more, introverts tend to choose their words carefully, meaning that - while they may not speak up often - there’s weight to their words when they do.

The innate ability to work independently also promotes impressive organisational skills, which goes hand-in-hand with excellent prioritisation of work. In addition to that, these independent qualities also promote initiative, self-management and responsibility, without the need to over-rely on others.

That being said, it isn’t all plain sailing and there are undoubtedly a few hurdles for any introvert to overcome if they want to succeed in the working world.

Obstacles for the introverted

Unfortunately for introverts, the world of work does also tend to involve a number of situations that are not ideally suited to this type of personality. From the initial interview process to the working environment itself, the necessity for interaction, collaboration and general conversation is quite a departure from the preferred environment of your average introvert.

Open-plan office layouts and team-based activities are just two of the necessary evils that must commonly be confronted. On top of that, team meetings, occasional office socials and even communal dining areas can be uncomfortable settings for introverted people.

But don’t despair just yet, introverts of the world – it’s not all doom and gloom.

Introvert working

Jobs for introverted people

Luckily, there are numerous jobs that lend themselves well to introverted personalities. These range from IT-based roles to more physical jobs and everything in between.

Here are just a few examples from a variety of different sectors:

Graphic Designer

Top of the list of jobs that are ideal for creative introverts is that of the graphic designer. With the majority of the work being carried out solo, the vast majority of your working day will be spent working alone, left to your own devices.

While you may have to run through a brief with a client, manager or team, the design task is ultimately left in your hands. Better still, this also draws on the creativity and imagination commonly associated with introverted personalities, making this job the dream ticket for many introverts.

Best of all, this job can often be done on a freelance basis, allowing you to potentially bypass the office environment altogether and work in the comfort (and seclusion) of your own home.

Accountant

If you have a good head for figures, a job in accountancy could be extremely rewarding – both with regards to job satisfaction and financial reimbursement.

Attention to detail and a focused approach are two vital requirements for this profession; ditto the ability to prioritise and work to deadlines. For introverts that tick those boxes and command a solid knowledge of mathematics, this can be a fantastic career path to follow.

As an accountant, your main priority will be to analyse economic data, crunch numbers, and produce financial reports for clients and businesses, ultimately ensuring that they’re operating efficiently, legally and on-budget. Accountancy jobs offer a wealth of opportunities to progress, and there’s often the flexibility to work remotely as well.

Lab Technician

If you have a keen interest in healthcare but are put off by the idea of dealing with patients and the general public, a great way into the industry is via the laboratory door. If you get a job as a lab technician, you can expect to carry out routine technical tasks, sample testing and experiments, along with data analysis and risk assessment.

Depending on the field you're in, the role itself may be clinic-based or focused around research and development. You may find yourself working independently or under the direction of a more experienced professional - either way, expect a high degree of independence. A keen eye for detail and the ability to work well unsupervised are great assets to have as a lab tech, two attributes that many introverts have in droves.

Web Developer

For the computer-savvy introvert, web development can be a lucrative and logical direction to go in. As a web developer, you will primarily be tasked with designing, coding and modifying websites to meet your client's wishes.

While this is a position that can be done outside of an office environment, there are lots of in-house web developer roles as well; as such, you may be based within a team of other specialists. Nevertheless, it’s not unusual for a web developer to find themselves honed in on a job or project for hours at a time, meticulously programming away with no time to stop and chat.

As with many IT jobs, this can require a lot of independent working, left to your own devices to focus on getting the visual appearance and technical performance is up to scratch. If you see yourself as a focused, analytical introvert with sound IT knowledge, a career in web development could be a match made in heaven.

Writer

The job of a writer is an ideal one for introverts who are well-versed in the written word and have a creative flair for language. Best of all, writing jobs can come in many different guises, from the formal, straight-laced style of a technical writer to the more conversational, down-to-earth approach of a full-time blogger.

Meanwhile, writing also has the potential for good career progression as a self-employed solo venture or within a wider team, with editorial positions a logical next step. What’s more, the role of a writer also lends itself perfectly to freelance work and can be done just as easily - if not more so - when working remotely.

So, there you have it – proof that introversion doesn’t mean you have to be cut off from the outside world, banished to a secluded dungeon and forced to work alone by candlelight!

Here are some other useful links for introverts, particularly those who are seeking a career in the science or technology industries:

Interview Tips for Introverts >   Browse Science Jobs >

Bioanalytical Science Jobs

Bioanalytical science is a sub-discipline of analytical chemistry, which is responsible for implementing technologies to help gather quantitative measurements from xenobiotics and biotics within biological systems.

In modern bioanalysis practices, many scientific endeavours are reliant upon precise quantitative measurements of endogenous substances and drugs within biological samples for the purpose of toxicokinetics, pharmacokinetics, exposure-response and bioequivalence. The practice of bioanalysis can also be applied to environmental issues, anti-doping testing in sports, unlawful drug use, and forensic investigations.

Many techniques exist that allow bioanalytical scientists to gather the information that they need from molecules. These include:

  • Hyphenated techniques such as CE-MS (capillary electrophoresis-mass spectrometry) and GC-MS (gas chromatography-mass spectrometry)

  • Ligand binding assays such as radioimmunoassay and dual polarisation interferometry

  • Nuclear magnetic resonance

  • Electrophoresis

Career Requirements

There are certain steps that you will need to take in order to gather the knowledge and experience needed to become a bioanalytical scientist:

  • Bachelor's Degree - A bachelor's degree in a relevant field (such as chemistry or biology) will be extremely useful when you're looking to pursue a career in bioanalysis, as you will have undertaken modules that involve laboratory components, providing you essential laboratory research skills.

  • Postgraduate Degree - A postgraduate degree in chemistry or biology is extremely advantageous and looks good to potential employers, but is not always necessary. A master's degree will provide you with further analytical and research skills.

  • Work Experience - Many employers require at least 2 years of experience for bioanalytical jobs. Candidates with a master's degree may not need as much work experience as someone with just a bachelor's degree. Experience can often be gained through entry-level positions within research facilities.

Once you have accrued the necessary skills, knowledge and experience to pursue a full-time career in bioanalytical science, we at Hyper Recruitment Solutions can help you to find a suitable role. Bioanalytical recruitment is one of our specialities - we work with some of the best science firms in the country to help fill vital positions in a variety of different organisations.

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Irritating Job

Hyper Recruitment Solutions recently conducted a survey to investigate what irritates employees in the workplace, and the results are truly staggering!


78% of employees have directly experienced rudeness in the workplace, including:

  • Being sworn at (54%)
  • Being reprimanded in front of peers (48%)
  • Being spoken over in a meeting (44%)
  • A personal remark about a choice of outfit (42%)

Our research further revealed that 92% of employees claim to have never been accused of workplace rudeness, despite 78% claiming that they’ve been on the receiving end.

Many of the respondents who stated that they had been accused of rudeness by colleagues cited swearing and speaking too directly as common reasons.


94% of employees said they thought that some physical contact in the workplace was acceptable.

However, responses varied depending on the type of contact:

  • A pat on the shoulder (52%)
  • A high-five (39%)
  • A hug (35%)
  • A fist bump (32%)
  • A kiss on the cheek (17%)

HRS Managing Director Ricky Martin says: “These results are pretty surprising. We often hear and read in the media how physical contact at work isn’t acceptable, yet our survey results suggest otherwise. Of course, physical contact isn’t always appropriate or well received, so I’d advise that it’s essential to be aware of factors such as personality, religion and culture. What might be regarded as friendly in one culture may be deemed deeply offensive in another! However, as the results suggest, should the relationship be there and requited, it shouldn’t be frowned upon for colleagues to hug, high-five or give one another a pat on the back!”


72% of employees would take action if working with a colleague with poor personal hygiene. What action would they take?

  • 36% of people would tell the person directly. Of these, men (78%) were more likely than women (68%) to voice their concerns about a colleague.

  • A further 36% would raise the issue with HR or management to handle the problem on their behalf.

This straight-talking approach is carried over into issues such as colleague disputes - over a third of employees surveyed would directly tell a colleague they don’t like them, with men (43%) being more likely to do so than women (24%).

Ricky says: “Workplace disputes and personality clashes are nothing new. What the results show is how direct people are when handling often-sensitive issues. I’d always advise that taking an open and honest approach with colleagues will work better in the long-term, but it’s important that colleagues are mindful not to unintentionally offend or create further issues in doing so.”


81% of employees cited small talk with colleagues as irritating.

Football and children were cited as the most irritating topics of conversation, as well as:

  • Trash-talking colleagues and clients (36%)
  • Forced pleasantries, such as 'How are you?' and 'Happy New Year!' (29%)
  • The weather (17%)

50% of employees admitted they had purposely not made a hot drink for themselves, just so they wouldn't have to make one for others!

This shows that while employees are willing to confront some issues head-on, they would sometimes rather avoid a situation completely than feel obliged to do something (like making a cup of tea for others in the workplace).


Why did we conduct this research?

HRS isn't just a company that puts people into jobs - we help candidates to find roles within organisations that make life-saving medicines and life-changing technologies. Ultimately, the people we support change lives!

With this in mind, we thought it essential to understand exactly why some people - even those in important, rewarding roles that look to be perfect for them - end up disengaging and leaving their employer. We hoped that this survey would uncover another side of the workplace, one that's not usually visible in CVs and job descriptions.

For more news and insights about the world of work, be sure to follow Hyper Recruitment Solutions on Facebook and Twitter!

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