Editor's message: Not all employees are engaged under standard full-time and permanent contracts. Employers and employees may enter into a contract type that is atypical. Employers can benefit from arrangements that fit around business needs, while employees may benefit from additional flexibility to fit work around their other commitments.
However, employers need to be aware that employees who work under certain types of contract may have legal rights specific to that type of contract.
For more details about different types of contract and the rights and obligations that go with them see Employment law manual > Contracts of employment > Types of contract.
The use of zero hours contracts has attracted a certain amount of publicity and criticism. From 26 May 2015, provisions in the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 rendered unenforceable exclusivity terms, which prevent individuals from working for another employer, in zero hours contracts. Further Regulations protecting workers who breach an exclusivity term came into force on 11 January 2016. See Employment law manual > Contracts of employment > Types of contract > Protection for breaching exclusivity terms in zero hours contracts for more details.
Clio Springer, senior employment law editor
The general secretary of the TUC Frances O'Grady warned "greedy businesses that treat workers like animals" that they have no place to hide in her speech at the TUC Congress in Brighton.
The number of people saying they work on a zero hours basis in their main job has increased by 21%, and nearly a third (31%) of people on such contracts say they want more hours than they are currently given.
Sports Direct is to offer its casual retail workers the opportunity to switch from a zero hours arrangement to a permanent contract guaranteeing at least 12 hours per week.
Engaging employees under fixed-term contracts can provide employers with workforce flexibility. Such employees have an array of rights, in particular under the Fixed-term Employees Regulations. We look at five points that employers should watch out for.
The Enterprise Act 2016, which will amend the law on Sunday working, public sector exit payments and apprentices, has received Royal Assent.
Updated to include the date of the Court of Appeal hearing in the Lock case, on the inclusion of commission in holiday pay.
Every April, new legislation affecting employment rights and responsibilities is introduced. This year, the development receiving the most attention is the introduction of the national living wage.
HR and legal information and guidance relating to contract types.