It’s still summer and you should really be out at the beach instead of working. Time is passing so slow that you’re unsure if you developed a new ability to stop time. Let us help you learn a bit about your rights at work and maybe, only maybe, time will pass faster and you’ll soon be off in the wilderness, away from work.


Like Superman, who every now and then leaves the world on leave to visit Krypton, you are entitled for 200 hours of leave per year if you work full time. If you are a part-timer, you should be given leave according to the hours you work. As a rule of the thumb, for every 10.4 hours worked you should be given 1 hour of leave (which is inclusive in the 10.4).

You have a right to take leave. HOWEVER, the management has every right to tell you not to take it on that particular day. Yet, he/she cannot continue refuse it indefinitely. Moreover, your boss cannot pay you instead of giving you leave. It is illegal for someone to pay you for leave instead of granting it to you. This is unless you are resigning and still have leave that you did not take. In that case, and only in that case, can you be paid for your leave.

You are entitled for 15 hours of emergency leave which is part of the 200 hours of leave. The management cannot refuse this. It can only be taken in cases of extreme emergency such as a sudden illness, accident to your immediate family or you have super hearing and listen to someone getting mugged 50 km away and need to use your super speed and flight to save him.

 2. Hours of work

Unless you’re Jack Bauer, trying to save your country in 24 hours, you cannot work more than 13 hours per day. In fact, he, like you, is entitled for 11 hours of uninterrupted rest per 24 hours.

If you happen to work more than 6 hours a day, you are entitled to at least 15 minutes of break per 6 hours (we do not know if Jack Bauer was actually granted this BUT he should have).

Every 14 days you are entitled to at least 2 uninterrupted rest periods of 24 hours each. In fact Jack Bauer was entitled this, though we never got to see his rest period in any series.

Apart from all this, your employer cannot make you answer emails after working hours. That does not count as uninterrupted rest period.


3. Pay and bonuses


Although Bronn of the Blackwater from Game of Thrones was promised a castle as payment for helping the Lannisters gain their throne, he should have to be paid money at least every 28 days. It is illegal for an employer to refuse to pay you every so often or promise you something else in return, like, let’s say, a castle.

Moreover, they may not deduct pay from you for being provided a uniform, (armour, if you’re a knight) or a locker (room in a castle), or a parking space (an area to park your horse).

The minimum wage this year is €4.31 per hour if you’re 18 or over. This amounts to €8964.80 per year if you work full time.

Even if you only work part-time, you are entitled for the statutory bonus (still cannot be exchanged for a castle).

4. Discrimination 

Unless you’re Offred, living in a dystopian world whereby women are seen only as offspring bearers in the Handmaid’s tale, fortunately we still live in a world whereby, supposedly, men and women are given the same opportunities everywhere.

Not only that, if they perform the same job duties, they are to be given the same pay. They are to be given the same opportunities for promotion.

An employer cannot advertise for a specific gender and he/she cannot discriminate even in the interviews.


5. Contact the work right experts

If you feel that your rights are not being given by your employer, you can always contact the worker rights experts. At UĦM Voice of the Workers, we offer in helping you achieve your rights. We intervene with the management when there is the need and are always available to meet up with you to discuss options on any issue that may arise at your workplace. This is offered for only €42 per year. Contact us now for more information.