Workers’ Rights

Protect Workers RightsAn employer doesn’t usually have to give a work reference – but if they do, it must be fair and accurate. Workers may be able to challenge a reference they think is unfair or misleading.

Employers must give a reference if:

  • there was a written agreement to do so
  • they’re in a regulated industry, like financial services

If they give a reference it:

  • must be fair and accurate – and can include details about workers’ performance and if they were sacked
  • can be brief – such as job title, salary and when the worker was employed

Once the worker starts with a new employer they can ask to see a copy of a reference. They have no right to ask their previous employer.

Bad references

If the worker thinks they’ve been given an unfair or misleading reference, they may be able to claim damages in a court. The previous employer must be able to back up the reference, such as by supplying examples of warning letters.

Workers must be able to show that:

  • it’s misleading or inaccurate
  • they ‘suffered a loss’ – for example, a job offer was withdrawn

Workers can get legal advice, including from Citizens Advice. They may also get legal aid.

Discrimination and unfair dismissal

Workers might also claim damages from a court if:

  • the employment contract says they must be given a reference but the employer refuses to
  • the worker is sacked because they’ve been asked to give a reference while the worker’s still working for them

Workers can get legal advice, including from Citizens Advice. They may also get legal aid.

Contact Acas (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service) for advice.

Acas helpline
Telephone: 0300 123 11 00
Textphone: 18001 0300 123 11 00
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm

Repaying Your Student Loan

Student LoansWhen you start repaying

You’ll only repay your student loan when your income is over the threshold amount for your repayment plan. The threshold amounts change on 6 April every year.

The earliest you’ll start repaying is either:

  • the April after you leave your course
  • the April 4 years after the course started, if you’re studying part-time

Your repayments automatically stop if either:

  • you stop working
  • your income goes below the threshold

If you have a Plan 1 student loan

You’ll only repay when your income is over £382 a week, £1,657 a month or £19,895 a year (before tax and other deductions).

If you have a Plan 2 student loan

You’ll only repay when your income is over £524 a week, £2,274 a month or £27,295 a year (before tax and other deductions).

If you have a Plan 4 student loan

You’ll only repay when your income is over £480 a week, £2,083 a month or £25,000 a year (before tax and other deductions).

If you’re on a Postgraduate Loan repayment plan

If you took out a Master’s Loan or a Doctoral Loan, you’ll only repay when your income is over £403 a week, £1,750 a month or £21,000 a year (before tax and other deductions).

Early repayments

There’s no penalty for paying some or all of your loan off early.

How to write your governing document

1E5E7A25-514D-48D9-9803-2C0D88FF57C1Governing document templates

Use one of the Charity Commission’s model governing documents, either:

  • as a template (recommended) – this makes it easier to register your charity
  • as a reference – to see what a governing document looks like and what it must contain

Start by choosing the right governing document for your charity type:

  • constitution (for unincorporated associations)
  • charitable incorporated organisation (CIO) foundation or association constitution (for CIOs) – see below
  • memorandum and articles of association (for charitable companies)
  • trust deed or will (for trusts)

If you use a model governing document, complete the template in full. Select all of the options that apply to your charity, and sign and date it where required.

If you’re setting up a charity associated with a national organisation, it may have its own governing document template you should use. You must use that template in full without changing or adding to it. Alternatively, ask your national organisation if you can use one of the commission’s model governing documents instead.

What governing documents need to contain

Only write your own governing document if there isn’t a template that’s right for your charity. If you apply to register your charity, the commission will expect your governing document to contain certain sections (‘provisions’ or ‘clauses’):

Section What it needs to contain
Name Your charity’s name and (in the case of a trust or an unincorporated association) power to amend the name
Objects What your charity is set up to achieve (its purposes must all be charitable for the public benefit)
Powers What the trustees can do to carry out its purposes (for example, raising funds, buying and selling property, borrowing money, working with other organisations)
Charity trustees How many trustees there are, who can be a trustee, how they are appointed, how long they can hold office and if they can be reappointed
Charity meetings and voting How many meetings are needed, how they are arranged, how a chair is appointed, how votes are made and counted (including minimum numbers for this)
Membership (if applicable) Who can be a member, age restrictions, ending someone’s membership, how membership meetings are called
Financial How the charity meets its legal accounting requirements, who controls the bank account, who can sign cheques and if two signatures are needed, other internal financial controls
Trustee benefit How trustees must not benefit from the charity (excluding reasonable expenses) without commission approval or unless it is authorised in the governing document
Amendments (if applicable) How the trustees can change the charity’s governing document, when commission approval is needed, how amendments are recorded
Dissolution When the charity can be closed, what happens to any remaining assets (charitable assets can only be used for charitable purposes)