Bad news for this employer!
Usually I spend my time helping employers to stay the right side of employment law.
But this week I found myself helping an employee.
Her employer had given her a contract last year, which is impressive in itself – many employers don’t even bother with that!
Sadly, the contract was immediately undermined by the fact that it stated quite categorically that she was not entitled to ANY holiday pay or sick pay, not even SSP.
The employee wanted to know where she stood in relation to the contract.
It was bad news for the employer – you cannot get employees to sign away their statutory rights. Not even for zero hours staff.
ALL staff have the right to accrue and take holiday, and ALL staff have the right to be paid SSP if they meet the government’s eligibility.
This is a timely reminder that an employment contract
is not the same as signing a business contract.
When it comes to employment law, courts are well aware of the balance of power in the relationship between employer and employee, and the law has been set up to reflect the fact that the employer has all the power and knowledge, and therefore provisions are written into law to protect employees – statutory entitlements overrule anything in writing, signed or not.
If you’re in any doubt whether you’re legally allowed to put something in a contract, please talk to us first – remember, statutory law doesn’t care about what you’d like to achieve; the law is the law, regardless of what your contracts say.