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One in ten workers surveyed in Wales don’t have a good understanding of their workplace rights, reveals recent research conducted by YouGov.

First published:
22 January 2021
Last updated:

This was published under the 2016 to 2021 administration of the Welsh Government

Commissioned by the Wales TUC, the survey has highlighted key areas where workers either did not understand, or were concerned about, their rights at work. 41 percent of the workers surveyed revealed concerns about fair pay, 30 percent about health and safety in the workplace and 27 per cent about flexibility offered in the workplace.

The survey also found that 12 per cent of workers would not be comfortable raising a work-related issue with a manager, while 18 per cent didn’t believe, or didn’t know, whether they were treated fairly at work.

Workers from Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority backgrounds were more likely to feel they were unfairly treated at work – 19 per cent compared to 12 per cent of white respondents – and to disagree that their employer understands and respects their employment rights – 20 per cent compared to 14 per cent of white respondents.

To help combat this lack of knowledge the Welsh Government has teamed up with social partners, the Wales TUC, FSB, CBI, Chambers Wales and other key partners, ACAS and Citizens Advice, to deliver a collective campaign to increase awareness of the expert workforce support available for both workers and businesses.

The campaign highlights the importance of employers, workers and trade unions collectively working together to make workplaces a better, safer and fairer place for all. 

Deputy Minister for Housing and Local Government, Hannah Blythyn, said:

“The data revealed in this survey only serves to highlight the need for workers in Wales to have a better understanding of their workplace rights.

“As someone who comes from the trade union movement, I know first-hand that being part of a trade union, is the best way for workers to understand and secure their rights at work.  Likewise, business representative organisations are there to support employers, helping them to access advice, representation and peer learning to not just get by but to get on.”

Workers are being encouraged to join a trade union as the best way to understand and protect their rights at work.

Shavanah Taj, General Secretary at Wales TUC said:

“These findings highlight the unfairness that tens of thousands of people across Wales are dealing with at work – whether that’s on fair pay, flexibility or health and safety – and how different and unequal our experiences of work are.   

That’s why it’s so vital that workers can access the information and support that they need. And the best way to do that is through joining a union. Unions make sure working people get a voice, and workplaces where there are unions are safer workplaces.”

Employers are also being encouraged to seek support and advice by becoming members of a business representative organisation.

To find out more about the expert support available head to Business Wales.