Employing temporary Christmas workers over the festive period
With the busy Christmas period in full swing, employers across the UK will be looking to take on temporary staff to handle the increase in workload.
Christmas workers, or temporary staff, are those employed on a short-term basis. Usually as a result of the business requiring extra assistance during busy periods (think Black Friday, Christmas and the January sales).
What rights does a temporary worker have?
It is common for temporary workers to be employed on a fixed-term contract, working until the date agreed. During this period of temporary employment, it is important to remember that temporary workers are entitled to the same treatment as permanent employees. Meaning they have the same protections against discrimination and are not to be treated any less favourably as a result of their temporary status.
Other types of temporary employment
If you are employing temporary workers through an agency, contracts are usually agreed by the agency. It is the agency’s responsibility to make sure their employees’ rights are protected.
After 12 weeks of continuous employment in the same role, agency workers are afforded the same rights as permanent employees.
Zero hours contract
A zero hours contract is a non-legal term used to describe many different types of casual agreements between an employer and an individual.
Generally speaking, a zero hours contract is one in which the employer does not guarantee the individual any hours of work. The employer offers the individual work when it arises, and the individual can either accept the work offered or decide not to take up the offer of work on that occasion.
Everyone employed on a zero hours contract is entitled to statutory employment rights. There are no exceptions.
Freelancer or contractor
Those working as a freelancer or contractor are considered self-employed and responsibility for National Insurance Contributions (NICs) and tax more often lie with them.
They may not be entitled to the same rights as workers, such as minimum wage but you are still responsible for their health and safety.
The material contained on this website contains general information only and does not constitute legal or other professional advice and should not be relied upon as such. While every care has been taken in the preparation of the information on this site, readers are advised to seek specific legal advice in relation to any decision or course of action.