Employee Legal Awareness Day is on February 13, and it is all about your rights as an employee. An Australian lawyer named Paul Brennan established this day to create awareness of the legal problems to the employees and small businesses and reduce the risk of them through legal education. The day encourages all employees to be aware of their employment rights, as well as company policies provided in your employer’s handbook.
History of Employee Legal Awareness Day
Employment or labor laws mediate the relationship between the employer, employee, and the union. Both employees and employers are encouraged to know and understand these laws to avoid breaching legal rights.
Labor laws began with the need to want to abolish child labor in the late 1700s. In 1784, an outbreak of fever in Cotton Mills near Manchesterraised concerns against child labor dangerous work conditions. A local inquiry was instituted by the justices of the peace for Lancashire, and the result recommended the limitation of children’s working hours.
In 1802, the first major step towards the protection of labor was taken with the Health and Morals of Apprentices Act. It limited working hours to twelve a day and abolished night work, requiring the provision of a basic level of education for all apprentices, as well as adequate sleeping accommodation and clothing. The Cotton Mills and Factories Act 1819 was the outcome of the efforts of the industrialist Robert Owen and prohibited child labor under nine years of age and limited the working hours to twelve.
In 1833, the Factories Act was put in place, which limited the employment of children under eighteen years of age, prohibiting all night work and provided for inspectors to enforce the law. The campaign finally led to the passage of the Factory Act in 1847, which restricted the working hours of women and children in British factories to effectively 10 hours per day.
From the 19th century, attention was paid to the workforce in general, and not just limited to child labor. A series of further Acts, in 1860 and 1872, extended the legal provisions and strengthened safety provisions, and led to the Coal Mines Act of 1872, which extended the legislation to similar industries.
Employee Legal Awareness Day timeline
The Health and Morals of Apprentices Act is passed, limiting working hours to twelve a day and abolishing night work.
The Factories Act is put in place, limiting the employment of children under eighteen years of age.
The rights of workers in the general labor force are protected because of the effectiveness of the acts passed in the 19th century.
The English system is implemented in other industrializing countries with certain national differences.
Employee Legal Awareness Day FAQs
How do you create legal awareness?
Legal awareness is created by educating people about their rights. It is also about educating people about their duties with new laws and provisions.
What are the effects of employee legal awareness day?
Employee legal awareness empowers both employees and employers to demand justice and accountability.
What is labor law, and why is it important?
Labor laws exist so that employees are treated appropriately in work environments and so their rights as an employee are protected. They ensure that they are valued for their expertise and are compensated accordingly.
How to Observe Employee Legal Awareness Day
Learn your rights
If you are an employee in any establishment, today will be the best day to read up on your rights and fully understand them. You can research labor laws governing the countries you are from, and learn how they apply to you.
Read your employer's handbook
One of the things Paul Brennan encouraged when establishing this day is that we not only understand governing laws but also company policies in the employer’s handbook at our place of work. We often neglect this when we come under-employment because it is usually a chore to tackle. However, today is the best opportunity to finally go through that handbook.
Organize an educative session
If you are an employer, today will be the best time to organize a session to educate your staff on their rights. Use visuals, trivial, or even courses to liven it up and create a clear understanding.
5 Facts About Labor Laws You Should Know
Children are still being used for labor
Every year, roughly 1.2 million children are trafficked to work in different industries.
Work-related reasons are needed to terminate contracts
An organization cannot terminate an employee based on race, color, sex, religion, gender, national origin, gender, or sexual orientation.
You are allowed to see your records
Employees have the right to ask for and view their personal files.
You’re eligible to carry leave over
Laws stating that if you do not consume your leaves within a particular time frame, any rule stating that you are most likely not eligible to take them after a stipulated time is against the labor law.
Bad references cannot be lies
The labor law states that an employer can discredit an employee while giving his reference but cannot mislead an organization by publishing a false report about an employee.
Why Employee Legal Awareness Day is Important
Employees’ rights matter
Employee Legal Awareness Day sheds light on the importance of knowing work rights. Employees usually get taken advantage of simply because they do not know their rights. If you are an employee, your rights matter, and you should be treated as such.
It keeps employers on their toes
This day is particularly beneficial because it also makes employers understand the rights of their staff and keeps them on guard. To avoid legal issues as an employer, it is important to know your employees’ rights, in order to not overstep.
It creates a better work environment
People tend to feel more comfortable when they know where they stand. Employee Legal Awareness Day encourages both workers and employers to expand their knowledge on their rights to have clear communication and a more transparent work environment.
Employee Legal Awareness Day dates