Zero hours contract rights

By Anna Jordan on Small Business - Advice and Ideas for UK Small Businesses and SMEs In our zero hours contracts series, we look at what rights your workers and employees have, such as the minimum wage and paid annual leave The post Zero hours contract rights appeared first on Small Business.

Zero hours contract rights

By Anna Jordan on Small Business - Advice and Ideas for UK Small Businesses and SMEs

Zero hours workers may work fewer hours than their fully employed counterparts, but they have a lot of the same rights as them.

Even though the rights are set in law, the definition of a zero hours contract isn’t. Zero hours can mean different things to different companies as there’s no concrete legal definition.

As an employer, the main thing you should know is that they’re not to be used for central business processes – only to fill in smaller labour gaps like seasonal work. For more central roles, you should consider alternatives such as fixed contracts first.

Everyone on a zero hour contract has statutory employment rights, without exception. They’ll either have the status of a worker or an employee. Most will be classed as workers.

Those who are classed as workers will be entitled to at least:

  • The national minimum wage
  • Paid annual leave
  • Rest breaks (rest at work, rest between shifts or working days and weekly rest periods)
  • Protection from discrimination

On top of that, employees have the right to (among others):

  • Statutory sick pay (SSP)
  • Time off for emergencies involving dependents
  • Redundancy pay
  • Parental leave

Employees will also have protection from being dismissed and any ‘detriment’ if they raise reasonable concerns about health and safety that you don’t take steps to handle, or they worry that their health and safety might be in danger.

Remember that health and safety is your responsibility and you must pay wages through PAYE including tax and National Insurance deductions.

Make sure not to confuse zero hours workers with employees or the self-employed. Differences are largely around the control you have over the person’s work and the mutual obligation you have. If you want the person to do regular work for you then you should opt for employee. If they don’t provide you with a personal service, then self-employed would be more fitting. In short, how will the relationship work in practice?

Under the exclusivity clause (introduced in 2015), you also cannot stop a worker working for another firm or treat them unfairly if they choose to.

What other zero hours contract rights should I be aware of?

As an employer, you should be regularly reviewing employment practices so that you don’t get caught out.

The Good Work Review by Matthew Taylor, published in 2018, revealed that new legislation will be produced so that all flexible workers can ask for more secure contracts. This will happen once they’ve reached 26 weeks of continuous service with you. There has been no word as to when this law would be introduced. 

There were also plans to introduce a new right to reasonable notice of work schedules and compensation for shift cancellation.

As you can see, it’s important to set out a clear contract from the beginning, setting out the provisions and expectations so that you both stay on the same terms. Have a look over this Zero hours contract template to get a better idea of what to include.

Read more

Zero hours contracts advantages and disadvantages

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Zero hours contract template

By Anna Jordan on Small Business - Advice and Ideas for UK Small Businesses and SMEs In this article, we'll give you a run through of what you should be including in your zero hours contract template The post Zero hours contract template appeared first on Small Business.

Zero hours contract template

By Anna Jordan on Small Business - Advice and Ideas for UK Small Businesses and SMEs

Setting out a zero hours contract template can be more complicated than a standard employment contract.

>See also: Zero hours contracts advantages and disadvantages

You must clearly state that it’s a zero hours job and the contract should clearly outline their status and rights. How it operates and what the termination process looks like.

Note that, as of April 6, the right to written terms and conditions extends to workers – this includes zero hours workers. Employers must include terms relating to hours and days of work and how those may be varied.  

>See also: Zero hours contract rights

Below are some areas to focus on and some example phrases that you might want to use when drafting your own zero hours contracts. It’s a wise idea to seek additional advice from an employment lawyer. For more on creating general employment contracts, check out What should you include in an employment contract?

Type of work

This is where you state what kind of contract the person is on – in this case, whether they’re a zero hours worker or a zero hours employee.

Try: The Business is delighted to welcome you as a zero-hours worker/employee. Under this type of employment, you are entitled to a number of rights including protection from discrimination, rest breaks and the national minimum wage.  

Status of agreement

A status of agreement is where you set out the intent and what you’ve discussed prior to signing the contract.

Try: This contract will set out the necessary terms agreed between you and the Business as to how and when you will carry out your work.  

How work will be carried out

In this section you’ll go over the place of work, who you report to and how you’ll be notified of shifts.

Try: Your normal place of work will be [place of work] or we may owe you work at various destinations. The locations will be within [a specified range].

You will be paid [£x] per hour for the hours you work, minus tax and national insurance deductions.

You will be paid [monthly or weekly] on or around [specified time frame]. Payments will go directly into your nominated bank account.

You will be entitled to the following benefits: [List benefits available]

For every [x hours worked], you’ll be entitled to a break of [x hours/x minutes].

You will report to [manager’s name] when you come to work or if any issues arise.

We’ll normally notify [type of worker] with shifts [mode of contact/process]. We may vary these from time to time. If you are unable to do a shift, contact [manager’s name] as soon as possible. If we must cancel one of your shifts, we’ll let you know as soon as possible. We have the right to terminate shifts for reasons pertaining to the business.        


This is as it sounds – holiday entitlement and pay.

Try: Your holiday entitlement will be equivalent to 12.07 per cent of the hours you work in each holiday year. We calculate this on a pro-rata basis, depending on the number of hours worked.

The holiday year will run between [x date and x date] each year inclusive.

At the end of each year, [name of your business] will pay you in lieu of any holiday accrued for the holiday year in which the assignment ends. The amount of the payment in lieu will be calculated on the basis of:

  • 12.07 per cent of the hours that you worked in the relevant holiday year
  • Minus any hours of holiday that you have taken in that holiday year
  • Multiplied by the average hourly rate payable over the last 12 weeks in which you earned pay from us

Absence due to illness

Again, an obvious one. It goes over what sick pay they’re entitled to and which hours/shifts it applies to.

Try: If you meet the legal conditions, you are entitled to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) for the period of sickness for your agreed hours.

Termination and changes to contract terms

This section stipulates what happens if either of you want to terminate the contract and if there is a notice period involved.

Try: If you no longer wish to work with us, please inform [specified person] and we’ll terminate your contract [with immediate effect or with specified notice period]

Read more

Zero hours contract redundancy

The post Zero hours contract template appeared first on Small Business.

Source : UK Small Businesses More   

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