Good employers treat their employees fairly, and reward them for the part they play in an organisation’s success. The first step is knowing your rights and responsibilities as an employer. Employment law can be complicated, so if you need advice or information, call our Service Centre on 0800 389 6332.
We know that most employers want to do more than the minimum for their employees and workers. As a union we are always looking to work with employers to improve productivity and improve terms and conditions for our members.
But just so you’re clear on what the minimum requirements are we’ve set them out below.
As an employer you must give employees:
You must also:
Fixed-term employees must receive the same treatment as full-time permanent staff. (See above.)
Fixed-term contracts will normally end automatically when they reach the agreed end date. You don’t have to give any notice. However, if a contract isn’t renewed, it is considered a dismissal. If they have worked with you for a year or over, they have the right to a to a written statement explaining why you are not renewing the contract.
After two years of service, you may also need to pay statutory redundancy payments, if the reason for non-renewal is redundancy.
Early termination of a fixed term contract depends on the terms of your working contract. However, fixed term employees do have the right to a minimum notice period of:
One week, if they’ve worked continuously for at least one month
One week for each year they’ve worked, if they’ve worked continuously for two years or more
If an employee continues working past the end of a contract without it being formally renewed, there’s an ‘implied agreement’ by the employer that the end date has changed. You will need to give proper notice if you then want to dismiss the worker.
Any employee on a fixed-term contract for 4 or more years will automatically become a permanent employee, unless you can show there is a good business reason not to do so. However, an employer and unions (or a staff association) may make a collective agreement that removes the automatic right to become a permanent employee in these circumstances.
As an employer, you can hire temporary staff through agencies. This means:
If you hire a freelancer, consultant or contractor it means that:
However, you are responsible for their health and safety.
In a Zero Hour contract, an employer does not guarantee any hours of work at all.
Zero hour contracts have been widely abused in the UK workforce. We believe that employers should ensure that Zero Hour contracts are only used for genuinely ‘on-call’ roles – for example an interpreter.
If you do have a genuine requirement for a worker to be on a Zero Hour contract, you should be aware that the following rules apply: