Zero hours contracts, what are the rights?
Q. I am an employer, what rights are employees guaranteed if they work fixed-term or zero-hour contracts?
A . Zero Hours contracts or Fixed term employees are guaranteed the same rights as permanent employees and should not be treated less favourably unless it can be objectively justified. Genuine zero-hour/casual workers aren’t entitled to the same rights as employees however they will still be entitled to certain rights such as the right not to be discriminated against, the right to national minimum wage and the right to annual leave.
Q. If I hire an employees on zero hour contracts but there aren’t any hours for them, can I let them go or give them no hours for their duration of the contract?
A A genuine zero-hour worker will not have the right to a guaranteed number of shifts and you can usually end the engagement with little risk. However, if a zero-hour worker has been with you for a number of years and has always worked a regular pattern of shifts, he/she may be able to argue that they have attained the status of employee and therefore, to terminate the contract may pose a significant risk.
Q. Are seasonal workers entitled to staff benefits and bonuses?
A. Any entitlements will be dependent upon the contract agreed between the parties. However, a seasonal worker may, in some circumstances, be able to argue that they are a part-time employee. In these circumstances, you would not be able to treat a part-time employee less favourably than a full-time employee.
Q. If there is a seasonal employee that isn’t meeting the expectations of the business, can I let them go?
A. During the first two years of employment, employees have limited employment rights. However, there are occasions when an employee can pursue a claim, regardless of their length of service. For example, an employee with only one month’s service can issue a claim for discrimination. You should take legal advice in the event that you intend to dismiss any employee.
My Comment: As I am always saying, nothing in employment law is as you think it might be, if you have a decision to make about T&C’s, ASK ! take advice from someone who knows. You can read more on my page about contracts read more My grateful thanks to those people at DAS LAW for this article from their website. See the whole piece at : DAS LAW