What students commonly get help with
Are you unsure about what you can ask IDA’s legal advisors about? We have gathered some of the issues our legal advisors commonly help with.
There are big differences between employment contracts, and even though yours looks pretty standard, it’s still a good idea to have it reviewed by a lawyer. IDA lawyers will do this for you, regardless of whether you’re lucky enough to have a job relevant for your studies or whether you have a job in a hotel reception.
IDA’s legal advisers know the rules, and they can show you where your contract may put you in a worse position than necessary.
For example during the corona lockdown there have been large differences between whether you are entitled to full pay while on furlough, depending on whether you were employed for a fixed number of hours or with more flexible working hours, which makes it harder to document how many hours you should be compensated for.
Even if there’s nothing wrong with your contract, it’s nice to know that everything is as it should be before you sign it, and we can explain any parts of the contract you are unsure about.
A member was unsure about whether she was entitled to her salary as a student during a period of illness. I advised her that, according to her contract, she was covered by the Employers’ and Salaried Employees’ Act and therefore she was entitled to receive a salary during sickness. I also advised her on how she could approach her employers. Since then, she has followed up and told me that she has been compensated for the five working days in which she was ill.
- Louise Nielsen, legal advisor
IDA’s legal advisers can also advise you if there are any special considerations to take into account. For example, it should your contract entitle you to time off during the exam period? At many workplaces, this sort of thing is agreed with your manager, but it could be a good idea to have it written into your contract, if you want to be absolutely sure about what you are entitled to.
Many students also benefit from talking to IDA’s lawyers about their pay negotiations. Even though you may be told that there’s a fixed level of salary for students, in fact this is rarely the case.
You’re entitled to negotiate your pay like anyone else at the workplace, and it may be a good idea to ask for a meeting to discuss your salary, for example if you have experience from a similar job, if you take responsibility for specific tasks at work, or if you stay in the same job for several years during your studies.
We had a case of a member who was employed as a student, but after completing his bachelor, he believed that he should be covered by the collective agreement for academics at the workplace. IDA agreed, and after we contacted the employer, he got his new contract very quickly.
- Laura Bruun Pletscher, legal advisor
But how do you start the difficult process of asking your manager for more pay as a student? IDA’s legal advisers can help with both the legal aspects, as well as how you should approach the negotiation.
IDA also offers career counselling and guides to help to write job applications and put together a good CV if you haven’t managed to get a student job yet.
Another of the most frequent issues IDA’s legal advisers are asked about is failure to pay holiday pay and salary.
Knowing you have right on your side, and that there is no mistake, can give you peace of mind, but your (perhaps previous) employer will usually act much faster after IDA’s legal advisers make enquiries on your behalf.
As a student employee, you may also need advice and guidance in connection with maternity leave or sickness, and there may be uncertainty about whether you’re entitled to full or part salary from your employer, or whether you might be entitled to public benefits, e.g. maternity/paternity benefits. By having IDA’s legal advisers review your employment contract when you start your job, and by involving IDA when a change affects your working life, you will be in a good position to safeguard your rights as an employee.