Employment minister Pat McFadden urges workers to make sure they get the pay and benefits they are entitled to

The government is urging everyone to make sure they are getting all the benefits they are entitled to if they find a new job in 2008.

An extra four days holiday, new maternity leave rights and extended rights to flexible working were just some of the new entitlements introduced in 2007.

Employment relations minister Pat McFadden said: “We want to make sure that workers know what rights they have when applying for a new job, or they can check their existing conditions are up to scratch.

“In the past few months the minimum wage has risen and full-time workers now have the right to an extra four days of paid leave each year.

“People deserve decent working standards – a minimum wage, the right to paid holidays and the right to work in a safe environment,” McFadden said.

The National Minimum Wage is now £5.52 an hour for those aged 22 and over, £4.60 for 18-21 year olds and £3.40 for 16-17 year olds.

Tougher new penalties are planned to deal with businesses that refuse to pay workers the minimum wage and agencies that try to abuse workers and undercut legitimate businesses.

All workers are now entitled to 24 days paid holiday, with a further increase to 28 days coming into force on 1 April 2009.

An estimated 2.6 million carers across the UK also now have the right to request flexible working under the Work and Families Act.

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