How to employ an individual on a casual or zero hours contract
Author: Elizabeth Stevens
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- Consider if engaging workers on a casual or zero hours contract is appropriate for the requirements of your business.
- Be aware that exclusivity terms in zero hours contracts are unenforceable.
- Ensure that contracts for casual and zero hours staff are carefully drafted and tailored to cover the arrangements between the parties, including a clear statement that the employer has no obligation to offer work.
- Take into account the holiday entitlement of casual and zero hours staff.
- Be alert to the risk that engaging individuals under casual or zero hours contracts could give rise to an employment relationship, even if this is not the original intention.
- Familiarise yourself with the differences between "worker" and "employee" status and the statutory rights that attach to each status.
- Remember that employees and workers are protected under equality and whistleblowing legislation.
- Consider whether or not it may be beneficial to accept the existence of employment status from the outset of the working relationship, while retaining the flexibility of a zero hours contract.
- Review the zero hours and casual contract arrangements on a regular basis and ensure that your contracts reflect what happens in practice.