In the UK in 2012, of the total working population 29.6 million people were employed, there was 8.1% unemployment, and 73.4% without union membership.The average income was £25,498, and the average working week was 41.4 hours.The Working Time Regulations 1998 give the right to 28 paid holidays, breaks from work, and attempts to limit excessively long working hours.
Under the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 strikes are basically lawful if they are "in contemplation or furtherance of a trade dispute".
As well as having rights for fair treatment, the Equality Act 2010 requires that people are treated equally, unless there is a good justification, based on their gender, race, sexual orientation, beliefs and age.
To combat social exclusion, employers must positively accommodate the needs of disabled people.
The Pensions Act 2008 gives the right to be automatically enrolled in a basic occupational pension, whose funds must be protected according to the Pensions Act 1995.
To get fair labour standards beyond the minimum, the most important right is to collectively participate in decisions about how an enterprise is managed.
This works through collective bargaining, underpinned by the right to strike, and a growing set of rights of direct workplace participation.Workers must be able to vote for trustees of their occupational pensions under the Pensions Act 2004.In some enterprises, such as universities, This happens through a steadily increasing number of work councils, which usually must be requested by staff.However, the UK remains behind European standards in requiring all employees to have a vote for their company's board of directors, alongside private sector shareholders, or government authorities in the public sector.Collective bargaining, between democratically organised trade unions and the enterprise's management, remains the "single channel" for individual workers to counteract the employer's abuse of power when it dismisses staff or fix the terms of work.Collective agreements are ultimately backed up by a trade union's right to strike: a fundamental requirement of democratic society in international law.