Key points to consider

  • Contracts of employments are agreements between an employee and their employer and forms the basis of their relationship from an employment angle
  • Employment contracts do not necessarily have to be in writing but it is best if they are
  • Once an offer of employment has been accepted the contract will commence and terms and conditions will also be accepted as offered by the employer
  • Under the terms and conditions the majority of employees are entitled to a written statement and this should be issued within two months of the official start date. Items of inclusion are pay, working hours, holidays and pay
  • A contract of employment that is in existence can be varied if both parties agree

Many people are under the assumption that contracts of employment consist of only those items that have been set out in writing between the employer and employee.  It is true that there are many items such as pay, holiday entitlement that are usually put in writing but there are also a number of terms which are not usually spelt out.  This is usually because:

  • They are too obvious to mention (such as an employee should not steal from another employee)
  • They are necessary (valid driving license for someone employed as a driver)
  • Some are established over time

It is best that a contract is put in writing – it is clear from the offset and avoids any misunderstanding further down the line.

Agency Workers

Key points to consider

  • There are certain employments rights which are applicable to agency staff and should be applied to. These include the national minimum wage
  • All employers considering employing agency workers should make themselves familiar with the Agency Worker Regulations
  • Agency staff are identified as workers and not employees
  • In accordance with the agency worker’s directive, workers are given the same treatment to those that have been chosen to hire for a continuous period of 12 weeks
  • Agency workers will be expected to identify a comparator in order to establish rights as outlined in the regulations

Agency staff are identified as being “workers” instead of employees.  Every worker and this includes agency staff are allowed specific rights which include the following:

  • Annual leave (paid)
  • A rest break and a limit on the time they are allowed to work
  • National Minimum Wage
  • No deductions that are carried out unlawfully
  • Discrimination rights in accordance with the Equality Act 2010
  • Health and safety in the workplace

The Agency worker’s regulations give agency staff the same (and no less) treatment as similiar employees in regards to working conditions and basic employment rights once they qualify for continuous employment of 12 weeks.

The regulations cover those that have been hired on a temporary basis (temps).  It also covers those agency workers that have been supplied via intermediaries.  In order to establish rights, set out in the regulations the workers much be able to identify a comparator.

Generally the regulations will not cover self-employees, individuals on a managed service contract or those individuals that work through their own limited liability company.