What constitutes a zero hours or casual worker?

What constitutes a zero hours or casual worker?

Unsurprisingly, just like with all other employees, there is a formal process you must follow whilst employing a zero hours or casual worker.

They must have a contract when working for you, and if not – then they don’t count as a zero hours or casual worker.

If they have no contract, then they are a part-time worker, not a zero hours or casual worker.

You must have the correct wording in your contract for it to count as a zero hours or casual worker contract. It is not enough to state that they have variable hours.

You need to state

  • That you do not guarantee to give them any minimum number of hours every week.
  • That they have the right to refuse work without penalty

You are also not allowed to restrict them working for someone else outside of their work for you. That clause needs to be removed from the zero hours contract for it to be valid.

Zero hours or casual workers are workers, and under employment law, workers can have lesser statutory entitlements. However, most employers do not use zero hours as zero hours workers.

They give them fairly regular hours, on the same days each week. Which makes them, through custom and practice, a part time worker. So to avoid yet another claim at tribunal, it is best to assume that they have the same entitlements as your other staff, on a pro rata basis according to the time they have worked.

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