In response to numerous requests from customers, we’ve developed a zero-hours worker agreement, which is available now on our free legal documentation website : araglegal.co.uk

ARAG Legal Services Website

Zero-hours agreements: background

Sometimes employers have a fluctuating need for staff. Under a zero-hours contract an employer offers work as and when it is needed, while the worker can choose to accept the offer or turn it down. There is no guarantee that work will be offered. This helps employers to cut staffing costs.

Zero-hours agreements can be popular with employers for a variety of reasons – usually, where there are external factors that the employer can’t control. E.g. where business is quiet at certain times of the year but extremely busy during others; where experienced staff are needed at short notice to cover unexpected absences; where new businesses need flexibility until they can confidently predict demand. They are especially useful in the hospitality, leisure and catering industries.

Sometimes employers use them if their workforce is mostly made up of those who want a flexible way of working, such as students, the partially retired, or those with caring commitments.

Our zero-hours worker agreement

If staff can genuinely decide when they work and freely turn down work when it’s offered, then they are likely classed as ‘workers’ rather than ‘employees’. This means they have fewer employment rights and protections, such as the right to maternity/paternity leave and the right to receive statutory redundancy pay. We’ve drafted our agreement to try to ensure that it’s used to fulfil a genuine ‘zero-hours’ situation, rather than simply side-stepping the obligations that come with more permanent types of contract. This means staff employed using our agreement should be classed as workers, and we offer advice in the guidance notes to help employers ensure that this remains the case by using the agreement properly.

Our agreement also deals with the job description and other related matters such as working time, breaks, holiday entitlement, salary, sickness and confidentiality. There are further options to include grievance and/or disciplinary procedures. It’s suitable for use throughout the UK.

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