Editor's message: Employers and employees may enter into a contract type that is atypical, ie it is not a standard full-time permanent contract. 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.
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.
Felicity Alexander, employment law editor
Updated to reflect the Autumn Statement 2016 announcement that tax advantages for employee-shareholder status will end for new arrangements from 1 December 2016.
Updated to reflect the announcement that the tax advantages linked to shares awarded under employee-shareholder agreements will be abolished for arrangements entered into on or after 1 December 2016.
Updated to include information on the BMA's announcement on 10 November 2016 to end its mandate for taking industrial action over the new junior doctors' contract.
The Government seeks views on the status and rights of workers, agency workers, the self-employed and those working in the "gig economy", as well as the role of trade unions in representing these workers.
Updated to include information on Brettle and others v Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council, in which the employment tribunal held that the calculation of holiday pay should include voluntary overtime.
Updated to include changes to the minimum wage rates for workers under 25 and for apprentices, which took effect on 1 October 2016.
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.
HR and legal information and guidance relating to contract types.